On The Radio – 38 million pieces of trash found on remote Pacific island


Credit-Jennifer-Lavers-East-Beach-sm
The most recent recorded density of litter on Henderson Island was 671 items per square meter. (Jennifer Lavers/Associated Press). 
Jenna Ladd| June 19, 2017

This week’s On The Radio segment discusses how an extremely remote island in the Pacific ocean bares the highest litter density in the world. 

Transcript: Henderson Island is one of the most remote islands in the world and is also the most affected by pollution from plastic debris.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

When researchers traveled to the tiny, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, they were astonished to find an estimated 38 million pieces of trash washed up on the island.

The island is situated at the edge of the South Pacific gyre, where ocean currents meet in a vortex that captures floating trash, carrying some of it from as far away as Scotland.

Over 99 percent of the debris on the island is made of plastic—most pieces are unidentifiable fragments. The researchers say that fishing-related activities and land-based refuse likely produced most of the debris.

The researchers say the density of trash was the highest recorded anywhere in the world, despite Henderson Island’s extreme remoteness. The island is located about halfway between New Zealand and Chile and is recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.

To learn more about the island, visit iowaenvironmentalfocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Betsy Stone.

On the Radio: No plastic bag ban for Iowa City


Photo by heal the bay, Flickr
Photo by heal the bay, Flickr

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment discusses a decision by council members to allow the continued use of plastic bags in Iowa City.

Council members have decided not to ban plastic bags in Iowa City.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

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Iowa Goodwill stores to cease television recycling program


Photo by photophonic, Flickr.

Starting July 1, many Iowa Goodwill stores will no longer accept donations of unwanted televisions.

Dana Engelbert of Goodwill said it’s become too costly for the company to dispose of televisions that sit around in the stores, gathering dust and taking up shelf space.

“If you can’t sell a television for $1.38, it’s pretty obvious there just isn’t the demand there for them,” Engelbert said in an interview with KCRG.

The company said it spent $150,000 disposing of unwanted televisions over the past five months.

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