Climbers on Mount Everest will soon have to bring back 17.6lbs (8kg) of trash on every hike.
“The government has decided, in order to clean up Mount Everest, each member of an expedition must bring back at least 8kg of garbage, apart from their own trash,” said tourism ministry official Madhusudan Burlakoti. Decades of climbers have taken its toll on the peak, literally tons of trash have been left behind. Oxygen tanks, torn and shredded tents, rope and waste unable to degrade in the cold climate litter Everest’s landscape.
Current expeditions are required to pay a $4,000 deposit, refundable once climbers have proven they have brought back all items they’ve taken, yet enforcement has been problematic. “Our earlier efforts have not been very effective. This time, if climbers don’t bring back garbage, we will take legal action and penalize them,” Burlakoti said. It’s currently unknown whether this will be a fine or some other penalty.
Expeditions will be required to submit all refuse to officials at base camp who will also be trained to offer assistance in a medical emergency.