This is the plastic pollution epidemic faced by Hawaii and the rest of the world.
Sitting in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and just below the North Pacific Garbage Patch, Hawaii is on the front lines of the plastic pollution problem. Its North and East facing coastlines are a magnet for floating ocean trash which is delivered by the currents and prevailing Northeasterly winds. This ocean trash is fueled by the commercial fishing industry, global consumption of plastic products, and plastic packaging of many products that we rely on for day to day use. Cleanups that we do on Hawaii’s coastlines show that the vast majority of the trash we pick up is not originally from Hawaii. Despite all of our efforts to practice better consumption and management of our waste in Hawaii, we are positioned to be the world’s dumping ground unless we ignite change in areas outside of Hawaii, especially those along mainland coastlines of the continental United States and countries throughout the Pacific Rim.