Plastic trash rocks wash up on beach in HawaiiUPDATED 3:55 AM HST Jun 12, 2014Video Transcript
Every year millions of tons of plastic is produced -- used -- and then thrown away. But that trash isn't going away... In fact -- our plastic waste might be creating a black mark in our planets history. KITV4's Brenton Awa tells us why. This photo shows just a small fraction of the amount of garbage that washes up on Kamilo Beach on the Big Island. And these rocks are the product of that plastic trash being melted and mixed with other rocks and debris. The result -- what scientists call Plasti-glomerate. 838 - 855 "THERE'S A NEW KIND OF ROCK ON THE PLANET CALLED PLASTIGLOME RATE. IT'S A STONE AND SHE SAYS IT'S GOING TO BE AROUND FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS, PART OF GEOLOGICAL RECORDS. BASICALLY IT'S AN INELIBLE HUMAN FOOTPRINT ON THE PLANET." Researchers say plastic rocks have never had a place in fossil records... But with a significant amount of our trash making its way into the ocean -- giving way to a new era for our planet. 1120 - 1135 "THIS IS A BRAND NEW WORLD. THIS IS A NEW HABITAT, THE SYNTHETIC POLYMER HABITAT THAT WE'RE CREATING. WE MAKE AS MUCH PLASTIC EVERY YEAR AS THE WEIGHT OF THE ENTIRE HUMAN POPULATION, 300-MILLION-TONS." That's a lot of weight -- and what experts say is also a heavy blow to some habitats. "ANYTHING THAT FLOATS OFF THE SHORE WITH THIS ROCK EMBEDDED IN IT BECOMES LIKE THIS FLOATING BOWLING BALL SMASHING ON THE REEF BREAKING OFF CORAL HEADS SO." BUTT TO 1418 - 1427 "YOU'VE GOT A MULTIPLE NUMBER OF NEGATIVE IMPACTS AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON." The researcher we spoke with said he first discovered the plastic rocks on Kamilo beach back in 2006. The rocks were also reported to have been seen on one other island.