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Trash Washed Ashore on Australia's Island

Cocos Island is buried under litter (Inverse)

(CNN) - An experiment conducted in the United States found out that more than 400 million plastic pieces were found Cocos Islands, a remote island located in the Indian Ocean.

According to the results of the research published in the scientific journal "Scientific Reports," the number of plastics scattered throughout the Cocos Islands- where there are only about 500 inhabitants- is estimated to reach 414 million and 238 tons.

Many of these plastic garbage are disposable items such as bottle caps, straws, shoes, and sandals; there are 1 million shoes and 370 thousand toothbrushes.

The island of Cocos, with 27 islands mostly uninhabited, is 2,750 kilometers away from the Australian city of Perth, and is often referred to as Australia's last remaining paradise with its natural beauty untouched by human beings.

Jennifer Leibus, a marine ecotoxicologist at Tasmania University in Australia, led the study. She said the study was only a 10 cm-deep surface inspection, which and was restricted accessibility to some beaches known to be covered with a lot of trash. This caused the result of 400 million plastic pieces to be an invalid estimate.

"There is a lot of evidence that plastic pollution is a threat to the wild, and the potential impact it has on human beings is becoming an increasingly important area in medical research," said Annette Finger of University of Victoria, Australia, the co-author of the study.

"The only viable solution is to reduce plastic production and consumption, and improve waste management capabilities to prevent plastics from entering the ocean in the first place," he added.



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