Mount Everest is tackling its most serious issues with draconian efficiency these days. Only a few days after Nepal has decided to implement strict rules for those wanting to obtain a climbing permit for Everest, it’s now going after the region’s waste problem with similar rigor.
Climbers have been leaving an incredible amount of trash, including mountaineering equipment and even human waste, behind on the mountain. A BBC report drawn from a statement by the Tibetan authorities revealed that three clean-up operations in spring 2018 resulted in the collection of eight tons of waste.
To put an end to this disgusting habit, Nepal is taking a no-nonsense approach to the issue, completely banning single-use plastics in the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu municipality starting in January 2020.
The ban applies to all plastic drinking bottles and plastic that’s less than 30 microns in width. No exact penalty for violating the ban has been announced yet.
Earlier this month, an advisory panel recommended that anyone who wants to summit Everest is required to be accompanied by an experienced Nepalese guide and must have previously climbed a Nepalese peak of at least 21,300 feet. The point of the new rules to obtain a permit is to keep climbers safe and reduce the negative impact of too many tourists in the region.