Multicolored Plastics Are Raining Down on the Rocky Mountains, Scientists Say

Microplastics are finding their way into more and more remote places on Earth.
Fabienne Lang

When you're hiking up in the remote Rocky Mountains, you don't expect to see much plastic lying around. You're probably right, as you can't physically see with the natural eye much plastic, but, if you were to look more closely, you'd see an array of it dotted around. 


A new research led by the U.S. Geological Survey said that plastics were found all across the Rocky Mountains. 

There's been a big focus on plastics being found in our marine life, unfortunately so, however, up until now there's been little to no evidence to suggest it's also found and destroying remote National Parks. 

What did the researchers find?

Rainwater samples were taken from eight different sites across the Rocky Mountain National Park, and studied closely by researchers. They discovered bits of plastic beads, shards, and fibers were in more than 90% of these samples. 

These plastic bits were even found up to 3,000 meters high up in the Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Lead U.S. Geological Survey researcher, Gregory Weatherbee, said "I think the most important result that we can share with the American public is that there's more plastic out there than meets the eye."

"It's in the rain, it's in the snow. It's a part of our environment now," continued Weatherbee. 

Chilling facts.

Where did the plastics come from? 

Using microscopes, the team of researchers studied these samples of rainwater. 

Multicolored Plastics Are Raining Down on the Rocky Mountains, Scientists Say
Nymph Lake Rocky Mountain National Park. Source: Andrew E. Russell/Flickr

The scientists believe that the microplastics emanated from plastics directly dumped into our environment, as well as plastic fibres released from synthetic clothing.

A major contributor to this phenomenon is that fact that single-use plastics have grown significantly around the world, creating plastic pollution. 

It's believed that there is now 5.25 trillion pieces of ocean plastic debris, and that this number will treble by 2025.  

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