Nepal Bans Single-Use Plastic On Mount Everest

Alarmed by the rising amount of plastic trash on Mount Everest, Nepal has decided to ban single-use plastic from the region in a much-welcome move. By Kumar Shree

Ever since the Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay duo first achieved the peak some 66 years ago, mankind’s fascination with conquering the mightiest mountain has risen many folds. The obsession brought its share of complications, for instance – closing of base camp for cleanup, human traffic jam on the pinnacle, and videos of sherpas pulling bodies out of snow.

While international communities have been vocal in pointing Nepal’s shortcomings towards preserving natural habitat of the eco-sensitive region, the mountain nation has announced a ban on single-use plastic from its Khumbu region, the area surrounding Mount Everest. This ban would come to effect from January 1, 2020 onward, and would prohibit the local shops from selling products in soft plastic packings and other single use plastic items of thickness less than 0.03 millimeters (30 microns). Plastic water bottles, however, has been exempted from the ban.

Ganesh Ghimire, the chief administrative officer of Khumbu Pasanglhamu rural municipality said, “We are consulting with all sides about what can be done about plastic water bottles. We will soon find a solution for that.

While the move is expected to make Mount Everest a plastic-free region starting 2020, any penalty has not been assigned for those who bring single-use plastic to the region despite the ban. In May 2019, the Nepal government in a clean-up drive cleared around 11 tons of trash from the mountain, most of which was plastic and oxygen cylinders along with trashed expedition equipment. The clean-up drive involved highly trained sherpas collecting trash for over a month.

We hope the move helps with the situation at Mount Everest, and help it stay as clean as possible.

Related: Human Traffic Jam In Mt. Everest Is Leading To Deaths Of Climbers!

Kumar Shree

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