Drowning in plastic.


Ashley Rosa

The world that we know and love is slowly fading away from us.  Over one million shoes and 370,000 toothbrushes among about 414 million other pieces of plastic found washed ashore on the remote Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean, according to new research.

A journal called Scientific Reports told the media that Australian territory was littered with 238 tons of plastic. The group of mostly uninhabited 27 islands which are 1,708 miles from Perth are marketed and talked about to tourists as “Australia’s last unspoilt paradise.”  Most of the plastic and pollution were single-use items, such as bottle caps, straws, shoes, and sandals. Freshman Leo Horvath said,”This is pretty sad honestly, I don’t understand why people say they are going to do something about it but then don’t. Stay true to your word and actually do something about it.”

A Marine Eco-toxicologist Jennifer Lavers who led the study says”Plastic pollution is now ubiquitous in our oceans, and remote islands are an ideal place to get an objective view of the volume of plastic debris now circling the globe,”.“Cocos is literally drowning in plastic, which is really sad considering how incredibly remote these islands are,” Lavers, the study’s lead author, said in an interview released by the university. “Most of the beaches are inundated with plastic.”

Researchers estimate that about 524,000 pounds, or 238 metric tons, of plastic washed up on beaches that are exposed to ocean currents and winds. Remote islands are “extremely valuable” to scientists because they are able provide “a complete picture of how much is out there, where it’s coming from and the types of problematic items,” Lavers said.

“What the remote island data collection has shown us is that the quantity of plastics in the ocean is going up, and going up very rapidly,” Lavers said. Apparently oceans contain an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic which is greater than the number of stars in the Milky Way.