United Geo EXP
Clean Everest
In 2018, the United Geo team during an expedition to the Everest Base Camp discovered illegal burials of burned plastic in the Sagarmatha National Park.
The waste that we found in the UNESCO World Heritage Site may cause irreversible damage to the ecology of the planet. We decided to investigate this problem.
The best selling product to Everest Base Camp in Sagarmatha National Park is water. Already those who go higher are buying oxygen, with the hope of "conquering the highest peak of the planet." And if its slopes from this hope are covered with oxygen cylinders and corpses, then to the base camp everything is in plastic. Hundreds of tons of plastic bottles have been burned and buried in the national park over the past 20 years.
In 1953, Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary were the first to climb the summit of Sagarmathi (the people of Nepal), leaving a handful of chocolate and sweets as an offering to the gods and four flags on the rope: the English, Nepali UN and India flags.

So plastic for the first time officially conquered Everest. It is known that the fabric of flags and ropes were created with the help of polyester and nylon, the most modern plastic innovations of the person in mountaineering for that day.

After the discovery of plastic burials that are dangerous for the region's ecology in the Sagarmath Park, the United Geo team decided to conduct its investigation of the current situation and propose its solution in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the spring of 2018, during the first expedition from the "Clean Everest" series, Sergei Sotnikov discovered illegal burials of burned plastic waste (mostly bottles in which water and cola were sold to tourists) on the Sagarmatha National Park routes around Everest. Garbage in the mountains is even harder to clean than the corpses of dead climbers who have not conquered the planet's highest mountain, so it is burned in the best traditions of Hinduism. But since the plastic does not completely burn, this waste is simply buried near the villages.
Probably the most beautiful part of the route to the base camp is in the square between Fortz, Tengboche, Ferice and Dingboche. Next you will find only the Khumbu valley and the crown of the peaks surrounding Everest.

From Dingboche, the most high-altitude settlement in the world, you sometimes have to move in the orderly line of numerous tourists. The stream is so dense that human traffic jams occur on the passes. The queue to the base camp can be longer than a kilometer. The crowd only allows large caravans, loaded mules and yaks. All of them are loaded with food and plastic bottles of water and cola. Hundreds of kilograms of plastic together with the human flow monotonously rise to the top.
But what is surprising is this, longer than in Disneyland, a string of trekkers who want to join the story, if the turn of climbers on Everest on the mountain itself sometimes reached the same size. Ordinary visitors do not see plastic polygons - they are far from the tourist paths, but directly near the villages where tourist loggia for overnight stays are located. It is the locals who do not see the benefit of collecting this garbage and recycling.
645

people conquered Everest in 2017
5351

people conquered Everest in all time
1 000 000

people visited Nepal in 2017
"For decades, people's attention has always focused on garbage in base camp near Everest and on annual" cleaning expeditions. " Basically this is what I call the cosmetic cleaning, as it can be easily taken and executed. The real problem lies in the huge tons of plastics, beer cans, whiskey bottles, steel food containers and other solid waste imported by the owners of the houses. They import it to meet the needs of the hundreds of thousands of tourists who now visit the park annually.

For the locals, this is "combustible trash", and the owners of the houses dump it in places for burying, where they burn it, when it accumulates, and bury it. Pits under the trash can occupy an area of 25 to 200 square meters, while their number in the park can be more than a hundred. The problem is that when it is burned, toxic poisons are emitted into the air, and buried and burned garbage does the same with groundwater."


Alton Byers
Geologist, member of the National Geographic research group

The Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee
Representatives of the non-profit organization The Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, which deals with waste from the Nepalese side of the mountain, told us that they did not control the waste generated by the houses located near Everest.

They are aware of the environmental, medical, and aesthetic problems that landfills create, but cannot do anything, because the influence of the Lodge Owners Association community is too strong.
After talking with the residents of Ferice, we found out that there is more than 200 kilograms of plastic waste in each village per week. This is more than four tons per week in the park. And given the seasonality, we can safely say that about 80 tons of plastic are burnt and buried in the ground a year in the Sagarmatha National Park. Over the past 10 years, with such traffic, its amount is enough to cover the whole of Everest with a thick film to the base camp.
This is a poisonous dump in the village of Ferice. One of the ten that we found. The plate says that the landfill is designed for glass and metal debris, but more than 50 percent of it is plastic bottles. And this is without taking into account those burnt plastic bottles that are buried in the ground.

Such a terrible, but expected discovery was the result of our expedition to Everest.
At the conclusion of the United GEO expedition to the Everest base camp, Sergei Sotnikov met in Kathmandu with Dr. Rabindra Dhakal, head of the technology department of the Nepal Academy of Sciences and senior advisor to the Prime Minister of Nepal on science. The meeting was dedicated to the processing of plastic waste in the Himalayas. Sergey spoke about the terrible discoveries and in response received an invitation to take part in the work of the Academy in solving this global issue and searching for ways to eliminate plastic debris in the Sagarmatha National Park.
The meeting resulted in our mutual agreement to continue solving the problem in constant contact between United Geo and NAST. We agreed that the materials of our expeditions
in the form of a graphical report will be sent to NAST and the UN.
The goal of the United Geo expeditions to the Sagarmatha National Park is to conduct a detailed scientific analysis of the problem, to raise the discussion of the environmental problem in Sagarmath at the highest international level, in order to solve it with maximum environmental benefits, thereby changing the world for the better.
Tasks
United Geography Foundation team plans to:
1
Detect illegal and legal burial of plastic around the path to Everest, put these dumps on the map.
2
To record material in video and photo documents.
3
Collect comments of experts.
4
Remove the film "Clean Everest"
in English.
5
Maximum disseminate information internationally.
6
Suggest a solution to the issue.
Deadline: 2020 year
Three expeditions to the Sagarmatha National Park are planned:
1
November 18, 2018
2
April 28, 2019
3
Autumn 2019
We want to solve the plastic problem in the Sagarmatha national park. But to offer a solution, you need to carefully study the situation in the park and raise the discussion of this problem to the highest possible level. We are always happy with all the support and help. Together we will change the world for the better.
Contact
Sergey Sotnikov
WhatsApp, Telegram: +7 922 886 00 20
E-mail: journeyuse@gmail.com