Conservationists believe that thousands of plastic pieces from around the globe were washed up in a remote island off the South Atlantic.
According to them, litter discovered on Ascension Island’s southern coast was traced back at least three countries: South Africa, Japan, China and Japan.
The five-week-long assessment of the extent of plastic pollution by London’s Zoological Society of London (ZSL), took place by the ZSL team.
According to them, more than 900 species are at risk.
Ascension Island contains a number of species that are native to the island, including the land crab, frigate birds, and several species of sharks.
This remote British-owned island has been the subject of many schemes to preserve its natural biodiversity. They were launched both by the government and independently.
Fiona Llewellyn from ZSL Marine Conservation team said that there is too much plastic being abused.
“It was heartbreaking to see the state the plastic over there,” she stated, adding that big companies and governments should be held responsible for the mess.
Ms. Llewellyn, along with her co-researchers, found more than 7,000 pieces of plastic debris in the beach hut that was used for the expedition.
This small island has a population of only 800 people and is worried about the crisis. Only a tiny amount of plastic washed up on the island’s shores comes from there. Ms Llewellyn explained that “it’s easy for you to see most of it coming from somewhere else.”
Animals are being caught in the plastic, and can be ingested. Microplastics and their ability to reach the top of the food chain are becoming a concern.
You will find plastic bottles, plastic fragments, fishing gear, and even cigarette butts along the island’s beaches.
Most of the waste ends-up on dangerous cliffs. She stated that it was difficult to navigate down the rocks to get to the shoreline to count all the plastic.
The ZSL Marine conservation group worked together with the Ascension Island Government’s conservation team and St Helena National Trust, St Helena’s government, St Helena’s government and the University of Exeter in a collaborative effort against plastic pollution.
The entire project will take three years. It will include monitoring the currents, movement and identification of water. Also, it will identify plastic bottles and assess their expiry and production dates in order to distinguish when and where they might have been.