How plastic pollution is affecting the waters of Hawaiʻi

The islands of Hawaiʻi are renowned worldwide for being a paradise of natural beauty and offering some of the most breathtaking scenic views in the world. However, you may be unaware that over the past few decades, the beautiful Hawaiian Islands have fallen victim to excessive plastic pollution which has caused serious problems for wildlife and poses a detrimental threat to the future of the local eco-system. Here we take a look at what has caused this and what can be done to help.

If you venture down to Kamilo Point, a remote beach on the island of Oahu, you’ll discover that what was once an untouched natural paradise has been turned into a wasteland. The disregarding of massive amounts of plastic and other consumer waste products into the ocean have led to a buildup of trash on the shores of the once beautiful island retreat. To give an idea of the level of pollution: 57 tons of waste was gathered from the northern waters of Hawaiʻi in 2014 and, unfortunately, that didn’t even make a dent.

There has been a great deal of research carried out by environmental agencies on the origins of the huge trash build-up. Some have suggested that it was caused as a result of the tsunami in Japan, however, new research suggests that the plastic has arrived from many other areas. The majority of the waste is domestic and commercial trash that has been brought from all around the world on the currents that naturally flow towards Hawaiʻi.

It seems that the world is becoming increasingly dismissive of the problems caused by pollution and the islands of Hawaiʻi are paying the price. But what is being done to stop it and how can we help?

In the wake of the growing pollution problem, numerous groups and organization have rallied to help clean up the beaches and restore the natural beauty of Hawaiʻi. A recent project saw the collection of 15,000 pounds of waste by the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund. If you’re looking to help the cause, contact non-profit initiatives such as Eia Hawaii Fund to see how you can help them provide resources for eco-friendly initiatives.

It can seem like you’re fighting a losing battle as more levels of trash are brought on the tides every year but small gestures from everyone, such as recycling or raising awareness, will help to reverse the damaging effects of pollution in Hawaiʻi.

© Eia Hawaii Fund, All Rights Reserved – January 29, 2018.

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