HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Shortly after lava from Kilauea’s eruption helped create one of Hawaii’s newest beaches, Pohoiki is already polluted with hundreds of tiny pieces of plastic.
According to a National Geographic article published Thursday, microplastics have washed up at Pohoiki, a black sand beach on the Big Island stretching for 1,000 feet.
University of Hawaii at Hilo students made the discovery, finding 21 plastic bits per every 50 grams of sand — most of them hair-thin microfibers.
It’s still not clear how microplastics will affect marine ecosystems, though scientists believe they could have dangerous consequences for wildlife and human health.
Prior to the lava disaster, Pohoiki was a beloved place marked by its boat ramp and surf breaks. But lava flows had eventually blocked off access and created the new black sand beach around the boat ramp.