It's been a big year for Nepal, from a deadly Everest climbing season that resulted in the country quickly implementing stricter rules for Everest climbing permits, to now completely banning all single-use plastics in the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu municipality by January 2020. The ban covers the area around Mount Everest in hopes of reducing the area’s major trash problems.
How bad of a problem is it?
This past may, a 14-member crew of volunteers cleared more than 6,613 lb of trash from the mountain – that includes everything from empty cans and bottles to discarded climbing gear. With thousands of tourists frequenting the area annually, the ban will help curb the problem by preventing hikers from bringing in any plastic goods, while also not allowing shops from selling any plastic goods to tourists.
Unfortunately, the ban still doesn't apply to plastic water bottles; however, according to Ganesh Ghimire, the chief administrative officer of Khumbu Pasang Lhamu rural municipality, they are "consulting with all sides about what can be done about plastic water bottles" in hopes of finding a solution.
Let’s hope the rest of the world will watch and learn.