The Amount Of Plastic In Hawaii Beach Sand Will Shock You

In the slow-motion video, a huge number of plastic pieces were found among shells and twigs.


A pro-environment group has made an alarming, but not exactly surprising, discovery on a beach in Hawaii: The cerulean beaches’ beauty have been marred by a huge plastic problem.

During a recent cleanup in Kailua on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, by the nonprofit Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, a sand sifter was used to separate the sand from the trash. In the slow-motion video, posted by the organization, a huge amount of plastic pieces were found among shells and twigs.

“This example from Kailua Beach in Hawaii shows what it could look like if you were in a highly polluted region,” ocean advocacy group Take 3 For The Sea wrote on Facebook. “This beach sits on the windward side of Oahu meaning plastic debris from the #greatpacificgarbagepatch washes up regularly on the onshore trade winds.”

A lot of the debris finds its way to sea animals and can be very hazardous to them. Oliver Ridley turtles have been found with plastic forks and straws lodged inside their nostrils. Whales have plastic bags and fishing lines snagged to their mouths. And many of these sea creatures that ingest the plastic get very sick or die from the toxins in the material.

Another big concern has been that of microplastics — tiny bits of plastic used in cosmetic products and even clothing. When these particles are washed down into the ocean, animals can confuse them with small bits of food and eat them.

The danger is to humans as well who consume seafood.

An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic is thrown into the sea every year, according to a 2015 research study. The island of Oahu’s debris is made up of a whopping 63 percent of plastic.

On the whole, plastic accounts for 43 percent of all debris found on the Hawaiian shores.

In fact, by 2050, plastic garbage in the ocean will outweigh fish.

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters

View Comments

Recommended For You