The mountains are faced with a steadily growing interest by the public for mountaineering, in particular national parks and the scenic, almost magical alpine lakes are drawing in people for a nice picture. The remoteness of those places following a long hike most of the time also ends up in camping or longer brakes next to the lake. Even with cautious and clean hikers, the growing number of visitors causes an increase in the danger of the pollution of the lake. The smallest non-visible particles from clothes, tents or litter, which are mostly plastic and also know as micro-plastics, will find their way into the lake.
The LiMnADs Project team has set one of its goals in finding out if or how much the alpine lake is already polluted with micro-plastics. Through high standard and up to date researching techniques the team is analysing the water and sediments of the lake to measure those micro-plastics. During the first preliminary study the team was already able to detect micro-plastic contamination in 2023. A good indication to dig even deeper.
With the help of those findings more public awareness and political interest will be created, which hopefully leads to a more cautious tourist behaviour and a better governmental support in developing strategies for tourism management of the national park and its lakes.