It’s ‘raining plastic’ on the Rocky Mountains: scientists

There’s no reason to celebrate this strange phenomenon in Colorado.

Multicolored plastic is raining down like confetti on the pristine Rocky Mountains, suggesting human-generated trash has made its way to our country’s remotest corners.

Tiny plastic shards, beads and fibers were found in about 90 percent of rainwater collected at various locations in Colorado, including the peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park, according to a new study from the US Geological Survey.

For the study, eerily called “It Is Raining Plastic,” the researchers examined the rainwater under a microscope and found all kinds and colors of plastics floating throughout the water. They believe the plastics came from litter, as well as fibers from synthetic clothes, though they aren’t sure how all the plastics got into the atmosphere.

Microplastics have been found everywhere from urban areas to the oceans to the stomachs of animals and people. Less is known about the kind found in the atmosphere, though researchers recently found an enormous amount of microplastics in the Pyrenees mountains, even in an area where the nearest city is about 75 miles away, according to the findings published in the May issue of the journal Nature Geoscience.

“There’s more plastic out there than meets the eye. It’s in the rain, it’s in the snow. It’s a part of our environment now,” lead USGS researcher Gregory Wetherbee told the Guardian.

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