If you haven't heard, you must have been hiding under a rock. Or maybe a piece of useless plastic junk:

A pristine paradise is covered with the greatest density of garbage measured, mostly plastic trinkets whose existence improved the life of no one, according to a paper, "Exceptional and rapid accumulation of anthropogenic debris on one of the world's most remote and pristine islands," in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Jennifer Lavers, of Australia's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in the University of Tasmania, and Alexander Bond, of the United Kingdom's Centre for Conservation Science, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, walked two beaches, methodically counting, collecting, and categorizing the garbage.

They report:

The density of debris was the highest reported anywhere in the world.

  • Up to 671.6 items per square meter
  • About 68% of debris was buried in the sediment
  • About 37.7 million debris items are on the island now
  • It collectively weighs 17.6 tons
  • Up to 26.8 new items/m accumulating daily

Why should I care? I'm here for business.

Inc.'s most-read stories suggest this community views entrepreneurship, leadership, and business as based in things like

and not just maximizing profits, whoever pays the price of externalities be damned. Not all organizations are for-profit anyway.

The media widely reported the article, including papers of record like the New York Times and environmental ones like National Geographic.

Read it all and you will find nearly no mention of what to do about it beyond a few mentions of vague government initiatives.

What do leadership and entrepreneurship mean if not taking initiative, acting, and influencing others to follow? Does anybody doubt strong demand for less pollution, especially useless junk in remote, once-pristine beaches?

What does unmet demand mean to entrepreneurs and leaders?

Tragic opportunity

While nobody likes learning about such results, where there is demand, there is opportunity. In this case, I think we can safely assume the demand for less junk on pristine beaches is global, meaning demand among billions of people.

If this community does not respond to such reports, who do we expect to? What success would we expect from government and bureaucracies?

Is this not an opportunity for leaders and entrepreneurs, however tragic?