Survey on plastic pollution

A comprehensive survey on plastic pollution has been conducted by marine scientists on the Australian external territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Around 600 people live in these remote places, which are sometimes described as “Australia’s last unspoilt paradise”. The scientists found an estimated 414 million pieces of plastic including nearly one million shoes and 370,000 toothbrushes on the beaches of remote Islands in the Indian Ocean. The survey published in the journal ‘Scientific Reports’ estimated that the beaches on the islands are littered with 238 tonnes of plastic. They believe their overall finding is conservative, as they weren’t able to access some beaches known to be hotspots of pollution. Researchers said, the scale of the problem means cleaning up our oceans is currently not possible, and cleaning beaches, once they are polluted with plastic, is time consuming, costly, and needs to be regularly repeated as thousands of new pieces of plastic wash up each day. The only viable solution is to reduce plastic production and consumption while improving waste management to stop this material entering our oceans in the first place.

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