Plastics ban to tackle Everest trash shame

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 22 Aug 2019

Single-use plastics will be banned in the Everest region to reduce the vast amounts of waste left by trekkers and mountaineers, Nepali authorities said.

In addition to seeing a record number of climbers this year, a government-led cleaning initiative on Everest - the world's highest mountain - also collected more than 10 tonnes of trash.

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 be effective from January.

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

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

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

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

This year's climbing season saw a record 885 people summit Everest, 644 of them from the south and 241 from the northern flank in Tibet.

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