Microplastics in National Parks

Over 1,000 Metric Tons of Microplastics Enter National Parks Each Year

If you thought that only the oceans were being filled with plastic, it’s time to think again. According to a new report, over 1,000 metric tons of microplastics are dumped into western United States national parks, but not by people.

Instead, microplastics are traveling via rain and wind.

To help put that into perspective, the researchers found that it’s the same as 300 million water bottles entering national parks each year. That is a tremendous amount of plastic, and there is currently no way we can guard against it from entering.

In fact, these microplastics have become a part of every ecosystem in the world, without anyone’s knowledge.

It’s Not Just the Rain

Tourists

While wind, rain, and other storms are to blame for circulating these microplastics,  people do play a role in it. National parks are a place for people to visit. Microfibers from clothes, car carpets, and more find their way into these protected lands from the actual visitors.

And there is no way to even tell or be aware that you are doing it. After all, these are not visible to the naked eye.

As we already know the oceans are full of plastic, with the highest concentration of microplastics ever found on the seafloor. They are everywhere, and due to their size, they can be spread easily around the world without anyone noticing.

What Can Be Done?

Realistically, not much can be done for the existing microplastics. However, we can help prevent or slow down the creation of new ones.

This can be achieved by disposing of plastic properly, using less, and for companies to use other substances. If we can curb our plastic pollution, there will undoubtedly be less plastic to get circulated in this manner.

The effects of microplastics are still relatively unknown, but that doesn’t mean we should wait until it’s too late.

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