Sometimes it seems like there must be no place in the world left that is not yet covered with our trash. It certainly does not feel all that far from reality when we think about the 8.8 million tons of plastic that dump into our beautiful oceans every year. And our waste not only travels miles deep into the depths of our seas – it turns out that waste has also made its way up to the very highest mountain of our planet. Literally.
At 8,848 meters tall, Mount Everest, also known in China as Mount Qomolangma, still did not manage to escape our debris. Fortunately, much of the waste that has accumulated on the iconic mountain will soon be making its descent. Tibet has launched a huge clean-up campaign in the high-altitude area of Mount Everest that is also the first endeavor of the kind. The aim of the campaign is to collect all the waste left on the mountain by hikers and campsites. The clean-up began on May 6 and is planned to last nine days.
The cleaned campsites are at altitudes between 5,200 meters and 6,500 meters on the north side of the mountain. Heightened human activity in that area with as many as around 60,000 people visiting the north side of the mountain every year, left the so-called “Roof of the World” looking rather vandalized – covered with tin cans, plastic bags, discarded tents, and a variety of other equipment and climbing paraphernalia.
The official team taking part in the project was joined by volunteers from Tibet but also from abroad. Together, only in the first five days, they have collected four tons of trash!
According to the official Xinhua News Agency, Tibet government is now planning to install sorting, recycling, and degradation stations throughout the camping areas of the mountain. Thanks to this great step, the mountain will hopefully suffer much less from the recklessness of the climbers in the future!
Even if you haven’t climbed Mount Everest (or even considered it…) you can help reduce the impact of our global trash problem. Each of us has the power to take little steps to reduce the amount of disposables, particularly plastic, that we produce. From bringing a reusable water bottle to work and always remembering to carry a cloth tote bag, you can keep hundreds of plastics out if landfills and the oceans every year.
To learn more about how you can eliminate plastic and keep the planet clean, join One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.
Image source: SummitClimb.com