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Nepal bans single-use plastics from Mount Everest

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Published on Thursday, August 22, 2019

A slew of new rules have been proposed for climbers scaling the world's highest peak.

Single-use plastics will be banned in the Everest region from next year after Nepal was stung by criticism over a build-up of trash and overcrowding on the mountain.

The ban covers the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu rural municipality, which is home to Mount Everest and many other major peaks.

It forbids climbers taking plastic items of less than 30 microns in thickness and includes drinks in plastic bottles.

"If we start now, it will help keep our region, the Everest and the mountains clean long term," municipal official Ganesh Ghimire told AFP.

After a record number of climbers this year – and an especially high fatality rate – more than 10 tonnes of trash was collected from the mountain.

Authorities will work with the Nepal Mountaineering Association and trekking companies to ensure the ban is upheld, although it hasn't disclosed what penalties will be imposed for violations.

Including trekkers, the region receives more than 50,000 tourists each year.

This year a record 885 people reached the summit of Everest but 11 also died.

As well as the plastic ban, the government recommended new rules to ensure climbers have the skills and experience to tackle Everest.

It wants to only grant permits to climbers who have already scaled a peak of at least 6,500 metres (21,325 feet).

Another proposal is to more than triple the cost of an Everest climbing permit to $35,000.

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