Microplastics fly particularly far and high

Microplastic fibres fly higher and further than previously assumed - even as far as the Arctic.

pressed plastic bottles

The shape of the fibres is responsible for the microplastics' ability to fly, as a study in the journal "Environmental Science & Technology" shows. This allows the small plastic fibres to fly as far as the Arctic - and they could even reach the stratosphere, the layer of the atmosphere above the ozone layer. This could have an impact on cloud formation processes and even on stratospheric ozone. However, further studies are still needed.

The researchers from the University of Vienna and the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organisation in Göttingen, Germany, arrived at their findings on the trajectory of microplastic fibres using a combination of laboratory experiments and model simulations.

According to the researchers, previous calculation models were based on absolutely round particles. The fibres with a length of up to 1.5 millimetres were able to reach the most remote places on Earth in the model, while spheres of the same mass were deposited much closer to the respective regional plastic sources.

Written by: sda

Photos: Keystone

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