One million pairs of plastic shoes along with, flipflops, toothbrushes and a multitude of other plastic debris are being washed up on the beaches of Australia's Cocos (Keeling) Islands one of the earth’s last unspoilt paradises.
It sounds like a song from the 1960s “Where have all the plastic gone,” but it is a question scientists have been asking for years. They are all fully aware of how much plastic humankind has generated since the development of six decades ago but had no idea just where it had all gone.
It would appear due to consent changes in tides that most of it has ended up on one of the earths last unspoilt paradises, the beaches of Australia's Cocos (Keeling) Islands). Hard to imagine but to use a very conservative estimate, researchers estimate that these once pristine beaches are strewn with approximately 414 million pieces of unwanted plastic articles.
Astoningishly, amongst this 238-ton mountain of human undegradable waste were 373,000 toothbrushes, 977,000 shoes and items which I cannot speak about within this narration. However, I can say scientists now believe there are more items of plastics in the world's oceans than there is in the Milkyway, a truly incredulous finding.
One thing is sure; we cannot blame the local inhabitants as there are only 600 of them living within this chain of 26 small Islands situated 100km north-west of Australia. They do there best, but with each tide comes yet another deluge of toxic plastic waste, some of it marked with the place where it was first made, places like the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and China to include a few.
Authors note: Please if you must use plastics please dispose of it responsibly.
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Credits and sources: BBC.UK, Matt McGrath Environment correspondent BBC News