Climbers' piles of waste turn the Himalayas into 'giant dustbin'
Mountaineers turn the Himalayas into a "gigantic rubbish bin" as per conservationist Luc Boisnard, who was on a trip to clean up the mountain.
The Himalayas have been turned by mountaineers into a "gigantic rubbish bin," the 53-year-old Luc Boisnard conservationist has said, after going to clean up the mountain range dominated by Everest.
Boisnard participated in an expedition that cleared out 3.7 tonnes of waste off Makalu, the world’s fifth-highest summit, and Annapurna, the tenth.
The alpinist founded Himalayan Clean-Up, a community campaign to raise awareness about pollution there, following an old expedition more than 10 years ago, to remove a tonne of waste from Everest.
The Himalayas are "a real tip" and some summits resemble "gigantic rubbish bins," the Frenchman said.
"Behind every rock you find lots of oxygen bottles, tins, canvas and shoes. It’s really appalling," he said, adding that 45% of the waste was plastic, while others were toilet paper and abandoned tents.
Climbers not only left waste on the mountainside, Boisnard said, but often "threw it into the Himalayan glaciers, from where it will re-emerge" in 200 years.
They have turned the Himalayas into a "giant dustbin", according to a conservationist on a mission to clean up the mountain range.
Boisnard had climbed Makalu with ten Sherpas, five cooks to collect the waste, and two Nepalese high-altitude specialists, but had to stop after contracting a lung infection.
In 2014, authorities from Nepal started a law requiring climbers to leave a "garbage dump" prior to their climbs.
It is worth noting that Nepalese mountaineer Nirmal Purja, featured in the Netflix documentary 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible – which gives details on his trial to clean every peak higher than 8,000 meters (26,250 ft) – is also raising awareness of the problem of pollution in the Himalayas.