Valpak’s Beard helps clean Pacific island

Amanager from UK packaging compliance scheme Valpak is to join world-renowned scientists in an expedition to clean up 10 tonnes of plastic and assess the impact of litter on a Pacific island with one of the highest densities of plastic rubbish on the planet.

Henderson Island, part of the Pitcairn group, is a UNESCO World Heritage site located between Peru and New Zealand. Although it is one of the most remote places on Earth, 3,000 miles from the nearest major land mass, up to 13,500 pieces of plastic litter wash up there each day.

James Beard, Recycling Services Manager at Valpak, said: “Henderson Island plays a unique role in showing the scale of the marine litter problem.

Despite its isolation, it is estimated to contain 38 million pieces of plastic litter which have been swept into the South Pacific Gyre.”

Beard will be part of the 13-person team which departs in June, spending four weeks in the Pitcairn Islands culminating in the beach clean-up. The aim of the expedition is to clear plastic from the beaches, monitor the impact of litter on local wildlife, and provide scientific data on the rate of plastic accumulation. data on the rate of plastic accumulation.

Henderson Island is home to 10 endemic flowering plants and four endemic bird species. Turtles visit the beaches to lay eggs, and the remote coral atoll has become an internationally important breeding site for many species of sea birds.