Pitcairn Island To The World: Use Less Plastic

Uninhabited Henderson Island receives wide-spread publicity due high volume of rubbish

By Herbert Ford

ADAMSTOWN, Pitcairn Island, South Pacific Ocean (Pitcairn Islands Study Center, June 7, 2017) – In the wake of world-wide publicity about some 37 million pieces of debris littering the beaches of World Heritage-listed Henderson Island, one of the Pitcairn Group of four islands, the people of Pitcairn have given answer to the world:

“It’s your problem, one not of our making!”

“Maybe we should erect an ocean fence around the island to prevent any more rubbish from washing ashore,” said Melva Evans, editor of Pitcairn Islands’ monthly The Miscellany.

“Come on, people . . . the oceans are not convenient or acceptable dumping grounds,” Evans said. “They are eco-systems as complex – arguably, more so – as land.
“When you carelessly discard your water bottle/shampoo bottle/toothbrush/cigarette lighter/ flashlight/wetsuit/flip-flops/comb/hairbrush/ponytail elastic . . . ANYTHING plastic (or rubber), whether you toss it overboard or accidentally drop it, flick it into a stream that runs into a river that runs to the seashore, or just mindlessly think that your rubbish will sink to the bottom and be done with, well . . . guess again. Plastic floats, and your rubbish has become our problem.

“These 37 million pieces of trash are just some of the billions of pieces of debris that have washed up on our beaches and coastlines, and we are not amused,” Evans said. “We carefully keep our home island Pitcairn free of trash of our own making, but with fewer than 40 adults, we do not have the personnel, equipment or logistical support to do the same for our other islands – Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno.

“Please, dispose of garbage properly; and, wherever possible, please stop using plastic. Your convenience is not more important than my environment.

“The fin and feathered inhabitants of Henderson Island thank you for making the effort. Use. Re-use. Recycle.”

Henderson Island lies 105 miles east-north-east of Pitcairn Island; Oeno Island lies 75 miles northwest of Pitcairn Island; and Ducie Island lies 192 miles east of Pitcairn Island.

Pitcairn Islands Study Center, Pacific Union College
Copyright 2017 Pitcairn Islands Study Center. All Rights Reserved

 

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