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PLYMOUTH – A new study has discovered microplastics, mainly synthetic textile microfibres from clothing, in snow and stream water close to the summit of Mount Everest. Polyester, acrylic, nylon and polypropylene microplastics were discovered in samples collected on the mountain and valley below. Some tiny plastics were present in samples from the Balcony of Mount Everest – 8,440 metres above sea level – representing the highest recorded microplastics ever found on Earth. Such materials are increasingly being used to make high performance outdoor clothing commonly used by climbers, as well as the tents and climbing ropes used in attempt to scale the mountain. It is likely the fibres will have fragmented from larger items during expeditions to reach the summit.

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