Scientists find plastic dust on MOUNTAIN peaks, as well as alarming levels in our oceans and rivers

Scientists find plastic dust on MOUNTAIN peaks, as well as alarming levels in our oceans and rivers

  • Small pieces of polymer, 5 mm in size, were found on mountains in the Pyrenees
  • Strathclyde University said that the plastic waste was transported by the wind
  • Europe produces 60 million tonnes of plastic every year, of which 27.1 million are recovered for recycling, incinerated or dumped

No place on earth can escape from plastic dust in the air, researchers discovered – with particles that even crash into remote mountain peaks.

Although it has long been known that plastic pollutes our water and the earth, the latest research shows that the microplastic dust is also in the air that we breathe.

The most important type of plastic in the dust found on earth was polystyrene, which is used in packaging but is not recycled on a large scale, followed by polyethylene, which is used to make plastic bottles and bags.

Small pieces of polymer of less than 5 mm were found on mountains in the Pyrenees

Small pieces of polymer of less than 5 mm were found on mountains in the Pyrenees

The miniscule pieces of polymer of less than 5 mm were found in a remote area on the border between France and Spain that was previously unspoiled & # 39; Was considered.

Joint lead researcher Steve Allen from Strathclyde University said: “It is amazing and worrying that so many particles were found in the field site in the Pyrenees. It is transported there by the wind.

& # 39; It opens the possibility that it is not only in the cities that you breathe this in, but that it can travel quite far away from the sources. I don't think there is an organism on earth that is immune to this. & # 39;

Scientists calculated that the microplastic traveled about 60 miles in the air and had a similar amount to that in high-density urban areas such as Paris.

Europe produces 60 million tonnes of plastic every year, of which 27.1 million are recovered for recycling, incinerated or dumped

Europe produces 60 million tonnes of plastic every year, 27.1 million of which are recovered for recycling, incineration or landfill

Europe produces 60 million tonnes of plastic every year, 27.1 million of which are recovered for recycling, incineration or landfill

Europe produces 60 million tonnes of plastic every year, 27.1 million tonnes of which are recovered for recycling, incineration or landfill.

As the Daily Tide The Tide On Plastic campaign has emphasized, about 10 percent ends up in the oceans – but where the rest goes is unknown.

The researchers, whose work is reported in Nature Geoscience, say erosion in dust and are carried in the air, can explain part of the deficit.

The place where the samples were collected is located at the Bernadouze meteorological station, 6 km from the nearest village and 120 km from the nearest city, Toulouse.

The fight against the plastic threat is an important element of Keep Britain Tidy's Great British Spring Clean, supported by the Daily Mail.

About 536,994 volunteers signed up for the campaign, which runs until April 23. To sign up, go online to gbspringclean.org.

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