Plastic Pollution

What if plastic had been invented a long time ago? What if the pilgrims on the Mayflower had snacks wrapped in plastic? Their trash would still be around today.

Plastic became popular in the 1950s. Since then, we’ve made 9.2 billion tons of plastic. A lot of that plastic has become waste. A lot of it hasn’t been recycled. Will it ever biodegrade, or break down? Maybe. Maybe not.

Is this a flower shop? Look again. These plants are made from plastic.

Plastic waste is a problem in our oceans. One expert thinks as much as 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year.

some of the plastic found on Henderson Island

Henderson Island’s Plastic

Henderson Island is small and far away. It is in the Pacific Ocean. No one lives there. Yet, it is filled with trash. It has more than 19 tons of trash on its beaches. Most of it is plastic.

For each piece of plastic you see on the beach, two pieces are buried in the sand. How does so much trash get there?

Trash in the ocean bobs across the seas. It gets caught in an ocean current. The current pushes the plastic trash to Henderson’s beaches.

Henderson Island is one of the world's most far away places. It is also one of its most polluted.

Henderson Island



North America

South America

Pacific Ocean

Henderson Island