By Owen Xu Li
Microplastics: pieces of plastic less than 5mm, were discovered in the highest mountain of Wales has been called a “scary wake-up call” by various environmentalists. Traces of these microplastics have been found in Llyn Glaslyn – a remote lake near Snowdon.
According to Dr. Christian Dunn, these tiny pieces of plastic were probably deposited by rain. A teacher who gathered the samples will now travel to all 15 national parks of the United Kingdom in order to learn more. Laura Sanderson, an environmental activist, swam 16 miles (26 km) from River Glaslyn and collected samples along the way.
The results showed an average of 3 pieces of plastic per liter. These levels increased to 8 per liter in Porthmadog, Gwynedd. Nevertheless, the plastic pollution is expected to be far worse.
Dr. Dunn, from Bangor University, describes the situation as “scary” when you think that the microplastics were found at the peak of a very remote mountain.
“However a more detailed analysis would almost certainly find more plastic. I should be surprised because it is so horrific, but sadly I’m not.”
Scientists believe that microplastics may be present in the air and in rainfall.
Dr. Dunn affirms how we should reduce our day to day plastic consumption. And although plastic is a valuable resource in healthcare, we should remove its use in unnecessary situations.
Snowdonia National Park Authority said that litter, especially plastic bottles, is a major issue and that a team of volunteers collects 400 bags of litter off the mountain each year.