Scientists have found evidence of Microplastics in snow and water close to the top of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.
This discovery marks the highest point on earth that plastics have ever been found.
Scientists found remains of polyester, acrylic and nylon fibres at the Balcony of Mount Everest. This sits 8,440 metres above sea level.
The scientists said that materials are most likely fragments from tents, climbing ropes and the high performance outdoor clothing commonly used by climbers.
Microplastics are small pieces of plastic that are less than 5mm in length.
Microplastics happen when bigger bits of plastic – such as bottles, bags and containers break down. Some plastics are so tiny they can’t even be seen with the naked eye. They are called nanoplastics.
Since the first summiting of Mount Everest in 1953, by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hilary, the use of plastic has increased from five million tonnes globally to more than 330 million tonnes in 2020.