Very few locations are as iconic as Easter Island. This UNESCO World Heritage Site – known as Rapa Nui by the local community – is truly one of the most treasured places on Earth, with its giant Moai statue heads recognized by people in every corner of the globe.

Despite this grand stature, and the fact that it is one of the most remote inhabited places on the planet, Rapa Nui is not immune to the scourge of plastic pollution and the challenges that rapid population and tourism growth creates for waste management. In addition, globalization presents numerous issues related to loss of cultural identity.

Key Facts

One of the highest concentrations of microplastics

Over 20 tons of trash produced daily

Population has doubled over 20 years, to 7,750

500% increase in tourist visitors over 20 years
(Over 100,000 tourists per year by 2020)