India

How plastics are harming the Himalayan landscape

Practice of burning plastic and littering by the tourist is a big problem in the mountains.

Plastic waste
Plastic Waste (image source: Wikimedia Commons)

With increasing tourism the littering and increase in the garbage become a problem. The tourists visiting the Himalayas need to change the habits for the overall health of the mountains and the prosperity of the people living in the mountains.

Not just tourists but also the people living around the forest are responsible for spreading the plastic trash. Even the oldest villages of the Himalayas are facing the plastic problem that is affecting the rivers and land of the area. This turns out to be very detrimental to the environment.

In the summers, the plastic gets heated and contributes to the overall heating of the mountain areas. The summers in the mountains have gotten hotter along with other seasonal changes. The melting of the high altitude glaciers has been reported along with flooding caused by the melting of the glacial lakes.

In Himachal Pradesh, currently many rivers have been polluted because of plastics. The waterways have been stuck due to the plastic blockage.

Although the government has taken strict measures to ban plastics, the plastics from food packaging is still a big problem to handle. The disposal of plastics and other harmful garbage is still mismanaged.

Whenever tourists visit some remote area they usually litter the mountains with plastics bottles and empty bags of chips. The locals get infuriated by this but at the same time, they burn the waste plastics from their households which adds to the environmental damage. This practice is considered normal among the mountain folk. The lack of proper garbage disposal is the reason for this prevalent practice of burning trash.

The efforts from both the government, the tourists and the locals are needed to tackle this problem else this problem would be catastrophic for the environment and will affect tourism in the long run.

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