In a bid to control environmental pollution and reduce wastes left by mountaineers at the highest point of Earth, Nepal authorities have banned single-use plastics in the Everest region.
All plastics that are less than 30 microns in width and all plastic bottles will be prohibited. This includes plastic bags, straws, a majority of food packaging, and soda and water bottles.
The ban will come into effect in the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu municipality, which is home to Mount Everest, from January 2020. However, no penalty has been agreed upon for violators of this rule.
The Nepal Mountaineering Association, in collaboration with trekking companies and local authorities, will work to enforce the ban and educate people about the adverse effects of plastics.
Thousands of mountaineers and trekkers visit the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu province annually in an attempt to conquer the Mount Everest, the highest peak on Earth in the April-May time. Unfortunately, they leave a trail of plastic waste and litter behind.
In 2014, the government introduced a rule of each expedition of climbers paying a deposit of $4,000 per person, which would be refunded if the climbers brought with them at least 8 kilos of waste. However, many of the climbers do not come back with the required amount of garbage.
The local authorities have been accused by environmentalists for not doing much to preserve the delicate environment of the Everest. The Everest has, in recent times, earned the unfortunate distinction of being the ‘highest garbage dump of the world.’
We hope that this move will help to reduce pollution in the area and make it as pristine and beautiful as it once was.