Nepal will ban single-use plastic on and around Mount Everest from January 2020 in a bid to cut down on the waste left by climbers. The ban is set to take effect in the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu municipality.
Under 30 microns thick
Nepalese authorities revealed they will ban all plastic soft drink bottles and single-use plastics under 30 microns thick. The ban will stop shops from selling the plastic goods as well as prevent visitors from bringing them in.
For now, however, an exception seems to have been made for plastic water bottles.
Ganesh Ghimire, the chief administrative officer of Khumbu Pasang Lhamu rural municipality, told CNN: "We are consulting with all sides about what can be done about plastic water bottles. We will soon find a solution for that."
In addition, no penalty has yet been announced for potential violators. However, the new rules are an attempt by Nepalese authorities to get a handle on a growing problem.
In May 2019, a group of volunteers recovered more than three metric tons of waste from the mountain. The region attracts tens of thousands of tourists every year and the 2019 climbing season saw a record number of 885 people try to climb Everest.
This has led to Everest also facing potential overcrowding issues. The Spring 2019 climbing season saw a death toll of 11 leading to rumors that overcrowding may have played a role.
However, Nepal's top tourism body insisted this was not the case. Still, a committee was formed to look into summit issues.
The committee recommended changing the permit regulations so that only experienced climbers will be allowed to hike to the top of Everest.