Identifying origins of plastic waste on Easter Island
Remote islands and their marine ecosystems, located in the vicinity of a garbage patch - where long term drifting plastic accumulates - suffer immensely from plastic pollution. Action plans must be put in place to alleviate such anthropogenic pressure. In this study, I focus on Easter Island and identify the plastic waste hotspots potentially affecting the island by investigating its connectivity with areas of intensive industrial fishing and coastal regions of the South Pacific basin with high population density. To calculate these connectivity patterns, I use a lagrangian approach applied to the current field of the ocean-general circulation model NEMO free and assimilated runs. Identifying the island's connections to plastic hotspots sources enables to target key sources and pinpoint where waste management strategies could be most effective.