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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Everest Region Bans Single Use Plastic


7Dnews London

Wed, 21 Aug 2019 11:34 GMT

Single-use plastics have been banned in the Everest region to reduce the vast amounts of waste left by trekkers and mountaineers, AFP reported.

This year saw a record number of climbers and a government-led cleaning initiative on Everest, the world's highest mountain, collected over 10 tons of rubbish.

The new ban in Khumbu Pasang Lhamu rural municipality, home to Mount Everest and several other snow-capped mountains, covers all plastic of less than 30 microns in thickness as well as drinks in plastic bottles and will take effect from January 2020.

"If we start now, it will help keep our region, Everest and the mountains clean long term," local official Ganesh Ghimire told AFP.

The region receives over 50,000 tourists every year, including climbers and trekkers.

The local team will work with trekking companies, airlines and the Nepal Mountaineering Association to enforce the ban, though no penalty has yet been decided for violation.

Environmentalists are also concerned that the pollution on Everest is affecting water sources down in the valley.

Six years ago, Nepal introduced a $4,000 deposit per team of climbers on Everest that would be refunded if each climber brought down at least eight kilos (18 pounds) of waste, but only half of the climbers returned with the required amount.

Melting glaciers caused by global warming are now exposing bodies that have accumulated on the mountain since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made the first successful summit climb 66 years ago on May 29th 1953.