Stumbled on these three sets of news published today and totally devastated with the damage we have done to mountains and all of us must own this damage.
India is already dealing with massive plastic waste management problem and now it has reached our Himalayas, well it had already.
A research paper published in 2003 showed approximately 288 g waste generation per visitor per day in mountains compared with the nation-wide average of 350 g capita per day. About 29 metric tonnes (MT) solid waste was generated along a distance of about 19-km trek (a stretch of land or distance between two or more places covered by a walk) during a 4-month tourist season every year in Uttarakhand . Cold drink glass bottles (68%), plastic (26%) and metal (2%) were the major items contributing to non-biodegradable waste. Imagine what would be the situation today , probably those 4-6 months are equal to 12 months in planes or may be higher.
India as a nation is dealing with this mammoth problem and beyond the government intervention, it’s self realisation and discipline which will have the right impact.
2017 – In India, 70 percent of total plastic consumption is discarded as waste. Around 5.6 million tonnes per annum (TPA) of plastic waste is generated in country, which is about 15,342 tonnes per day (TPD).
2019 – India generates 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste every day, but 40% of it remains uncollected causing choking of drainage and river systems.
So what has to be done ?
Several volunteers and organisation are pushing to collect waste from mountains , multiple drives have be done, recently few people lead by change maker Pradeep collected 400000 kg of waste, this is truly remarkable but this is not a sustainable model.
Prevention is better than cure, here is what you can do when travelling or trekking to Himalayas:
1. Always carry water bottles, refill them with mineral rich Himalayan water, no need to thank me for telling this but are drinking water in the purest form in Himalayas.
2. Carry foods from home, avoid chips and cookies, focus on eating local food, the evenly will be better served with getting back to basics
3. Do not litter, always carry biodegradable dustbin bags with you , collect your waste for disposal and collect littered waste as well, pay your rent to mountains
4. Avoid cold drinks , the bottle is one of the biggest waste, try local juice , try Burans and you will love it
5. Keep the promise!
Love Himalayas, Himalayas will love you back.
Do you have any more suggestions ? I will add it to post with credit.