Pictures have emerged of a rubbish-ridden island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, which has been dubbed the world's worst case of plastic pollution.
It is estimated at least 37.7 million pieces of plastic have been discovered on uninhabited Henderson Island.
Investigators found up to 671 items of plastic on every square metre on the island, between New Zealand and South America.
The island is 5000km from the nearest major population centre and has one of the world's best preserved raised coral atolls.
Marine and Antarctic Studies expert Dr Jennifer Lavers said the island's pollution is a sad reflection on the world we live in today.
"What's happened on Henderson Island shows there's no escaping plastic pollution even in the most distant parts of our oceans.
"Far from being the pristine 'deserted island' that people might imagine of such a remote place, Henderson Island is a shocking but typical example of how plastic debris is affecting the environment on a global scale," she said.
"Based on our sampling at five sites we estimated that more than 17 tonnes of plastic debris has been deposited on the island, with more than 3570 new pieces of litter washing up each day on one beach alone."
Lavers said only about 7 per cent of the junk on the beach was connected to fishing.
She said most of the items found on the beaches were everyday items such as cigarette lighters, plastic razors, toothbrushes, plastic scoops used in detergents or baby formula, and babies' dummies.
The largest of the four islands of the Pitcairn Island group, Henderson Island is a Unesco World Heritage Listed site and one of the few atolls in the world whose ecology has been practically untouched by humans.
The island exhibits remarkable biological diversity given it covers only 3700ha but has 10 endemic species of plant and four land bird species. Its isolation had, until recently, protected it from most human activities.
The nearest settlement is Pitcairn Island with a population of 40 people.
Lavers said more than 300 million tonnes of plastic produced worldwide each year is not recycled.
"Research has shown that more than 200 species are known to be at risk from eating plastic, and 55 per cent of the world's sea birds, including two species found on Henderson Island, are at risk from marine debris."