Apr 15, 2019 08:41 PM EDT
At the top of the famous French Pyrenees is a virtually pristine clearing. It has become a home to a weather station and a whole lot of snow. The nearest road to reach the top is virtually closed during winter. In fact, the weather conditions make it simply impossible to survive the cold. The nearest town is within 60 miles of distance with a population around 9,000.
However, between the months of November 2018 up to March of 2019, researchers have discovered microplastics dominating the landscape. Microplastics are bits and pieces of plastics that are a fifth of an inch long. It has been reported at least 365 particles of microplastics were found each square meter of the area.
How did the plastics reach the area when it is even impossible for people to reside in? The culprit? The winds blowing from the big cities like Barcelona, located 100 miles south of the region is bringing in all the plastic. This discovery has brought new attention to the horror of plastic pollution that the world may not be aware of.
Though it is not surprising to find the presence of microplastics in big cities like Paris and Dongguan in China, no one knew it could travel miles into the mountains. Researchers believe that such facts can be very shocking. What supposedly was a pristine environment as it is far from the nearest settlement is now polluted. This is bad news for the ecosystems in the world, particularly that of human health.
The central problem with using plastics is that it takes millions of years before they decompose. They are not reusable once they are disposed of creating unnecessary harm to the environment. In addition, when a plastic bottle finally decomposes, it leaves small traces of it to the environment. The saddest part of it all is that these microplastics are taken into areas no human ever thought possible.
A study in the UK showed that there are microplastic contents found in a sample of mussels collected. "It can be very challenging to create a model how these plastics are taken to different places through the wind. It would be even more challenging to figure out where they could possibly come from," says Deonie Allen, a scientist on environmental pollution. She co-authored the paper published in Nature Geoscience.
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