Nepal Bans Single Use Plastics Around Mount Everest

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Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal, hiking

The growing movement to do away with harmful single-use plastics has reached Nepal’s Mount Everest, but unfortunately, a newly proposed ban does not prohibit plastic water bottles at the iconic destination.

UPI has reported that officials in the country announced on Thursday that single-use plastics on or around its side of Mount Everest will be entirely outlawed starting in January. The move is part of an attempt to curb the significant amounts of pollution left behind carelessly by climbers and increasing numbers of tourists who visit the world’s tallest mountain each year.

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Officials say the ban will apply to plastic bottles and single-use plastics that are under .0012 inches thick. In addition, stores located in the surrounding area will not be allowed to sell such products.

“All types of plastic bags, bottles and items not meeting the given standard will be banned here. Anyone using banned plastic items will be fined,” Ganesh Ghimire, the chief administrative officer of Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality, told myRepublica.

To be clear, however, the ban does not include plastic water bottles, which are a significant problem worldwide. Rather, the ban addresses soft drink bottles, according to CNN.

“We are consulting with all sides about what can be done about plastic water bottles,” Ghimire told CNN. “We will soon find a solution for that.”

The new rule comes on the heels of a recent increase in tourism to Nepal and Mount Everest and the removal of a staggering 11 tons of trash from the mountain during a recent government-led cleaning effort.

A similar ban in 1999 was never implemented, partly due to opposition from local residents. The good news is locals are now concerned enough about climate change and pollution to support the ban, said Ghimire.