More and more the impact of microplastics on the environment is being mentioned. The pollution of the world with it is enormous. Microplastic is considered to be independent plastic particles with a diameter of less than 5 mm. They can freely penetrate the environment, even if the material has been recycled, regardless of the method. Microplastic is in water, food, and cosmetics. It turned out to be on Mount Everest too. Scientists at Plymouth University discovered plastic there as well. Its presence was detected in snow samples collected by the National Geographic expedition on the slopes of Mount Everest at altitudes ranging from 5,300 to 8,440 m. Most fibers were made of polyester, acrylic, nylon, and polypropylene. The researchers said the fibers most likely came from the clothing, tents, and ropes used by mountaineers.
The researchers found the largest number of plastic traces under Mount Everest near Base Camp – the largest camp for mountaineers and climbers. As part of the National Geographic expedition, water samples were also collected from eight streams near Mount Everest. Plastic contamination of water was lower, and microfibers were found in only three locations.
The research was published in the journal One Earth.