Maybe rich assholes like DiCaprio, Cher, Bono, Gates, etc. ought to pony up a few hundred million to have a couple of hundred volunteers clear the place out of the junk.
Henderson Island, a coral atoll in the south Pacific, is just 14.5 square miles (37.5 square km), and the nearest cities are some 3,000 miles (4,800 km) away.
The island, a territory of the UK, is a sanctuary to a host of threatened species including the Henderson Petrel and Henderson Crake, and its beaches are a nesting site for the endangered green turtle.
Experts estimate there are five trillion pieces of plastic litter floating on the world’s oceans, discarded by a throw-away society and killing countless animals a year.
It has been estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish.
Plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals.
Plastic and other litter can become concentrated in areas called gyres as a result of marine pollution gathered by oceanic currents.
But human activity has turned what should be a pristine island paradise into a rubbish tip.
More than 37 million bits of plastic junk – weighing some 17 tons – have washed up on its shores, threatening the island’s wildlife.
In all, every square metre of beach has hundreds of bits of plastic – including toothbrushes, buoys, old fishing nets, plastic bags and cosmetic pots mostly produced in the last few decades and dropped by people thousands of miles away.
While the surface is cluttered with plastic junk, it is just the tip of the iceberg.
Sixty-eight per cent of the plastic was buried under 10cm (4 inches) of sand.
Jennifer Lavers of the University of Tasmania and Alexander Bond of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds carried out the landmark research project.
Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they said: ‘Here we document the amount of debris and rate of accumulation on Henderson Island, a remote, uninhabited island in the South Pacific.
‘The density of debris was the highest reported anywhere in the world, up to 671.6 items per meter squared on the surface of the beaches.’
The remote islands have never had a ‘clean up’ operation, so the levels of plastic are an indication of how plastic is piling up worldwide, carried by ocean currents to land on Henderson’s shores.
Dr Lavers told the Daily Mail that she had studied marine plastics on remote islands for the best part of a decade.
‘I’ve seen a lot of plastics on my travels – some of the most remote places – but Henderson Island tops the cake.
‘The quantity of plastic on Henderson Island is truly alarming and takes your breath away.’
A study in 1991 of plastic pollution on two other remote atolls, Ducie and Aeno in the area was described as ‘frighteningly large’ – but is likely to represent how much plastic pollution existed nearly three decades ago.
But this was less than 1 piece of plastic per square metre – vastly outstripped by Henderson Island now.
The researchers estimate that – given the islands experience similar conditions – since 1991, plastic levels have increase each year by between 7 and 80 per cent.