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Nepal bans single-use plastics at Mount Everest starting next year

By Sommer Brokaw
Nepal bans single-use plastics at Mount Everest starting next year
Single-use plastics like soda bottles will no longer be allowed on or around the Nepal side of Mount Everest, beginning in January. File Photo by Simon/Pixabay

Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Officials in Nepal announced Thursday single-use plastics on or around its side of Mount Everest will be entirely outlawed next year -- as part of an effort to to curb pollution left by climbers and tourists at the world's tallest mountain.

Nepal said the change bars plastic bottles and single-use plastics under .0012 inches thick in Khumbu, a region on the Nepalese side of Mount Everest. Area stores will also be prohibited from selling such products.

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"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.

The new rule, which takes effect Jan. 1, comes after a recent increase in tourism brought with it increasing amounts of garbage visitors left behind.

A similar ban in 1999 was never implemented, partly due to opposition from local residents.

"The locals are now really concerned about climate change issues and excessive pollution in the Khumbu region, so this time the ban will be effective," Ghimire said.

Mount Everest is divided by the Nepal-China border.

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