A summit to Mount Everest, which sits at a height of 29000 ft above sea level, is every mountaineer’s dream. However, over the years, the popularity of the peak kept growing by manifolds, eventually leading to startling human traffic jams up there this year. The amount of trash that the mountaineers, close to 1000 every year, leave on the trail or in the high-altitude base camps is unimaginable. And now, the journey to the world’s highest mountain is set to become more complicated.
While new rules were recently implemented for climbers, Nepal has also announced that starting from 2020, single-use plastics will be banned from Mount Everest and the surrounding region. The Nepal Government was forced to implement tighter rules to combat issues such as the rising death toll, overcrowding, and excessive waste left behind by the climbers.
Reportedly, only plastic water bottles will be exempt. Although the motive of the ban is to reduce waste on Mount Everest, it will be difficult to apply the rule in entirety. People need to drink loads of water up there, and refilling water bottles from large containers would be a challenge. Thus, more time and better infrastructure are required, and it might be a bit early to say what plastic will be considered single-use. Of late, the issue of trash on the Everest trek has been in the spotlight. In June, a cleanup campaign on the mountain cleaned more than 24000 pounds of garbage. Also, the melting glaciers up there revealed bodies of dead climbers, which sparked concern from expedition organisers at the famous peak.