From the Himalayas
Nepalese nonprofit Sagarmatha Next and award-winning Dutch design firm Super Local are pleased to announce the launch of the “Carry me back” program and the “From the Himalayas” product collection. These important initiatives offer sustainable solutions to remove, process, and transform waste from the Everest region.
The majestic beauty of Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal, home of Mount Everest, draws over 80,000 visitors annually, offering tourists an unforgettable experience in nature. While this has brought considerable socio-economic benefits to the area, it has also resulted in tragic amounts of waste and pressure on the region’s delicate ecosystem during the last few decades.
Sagarmatha Next and Super Local partnered with a local waste management organization to create “Carry me back”, a crowdsourced waste removal program. This system harnesses the movement of locals and tourists from the Everest region to Kathmandu, where a partner facility recycles the waste. Locals and visitors alike have responded enthusiastically to the “Carry me back” program, with some people carrying up to 14 kilos of waste on their way. Tons of waste are now removed from the Everest region every hiking season.
While some materials, like water bottles and aluminum cans, are processed on a more industrial scale, for the processing of HDPE water bottle caps, Super Local was tasked with converting this waste material into unique products that tourists can buy both averting waste and financing Sagarmatha Next’s important work.
The final output is the “From the Himalayas” product collection, which consists of 3 different pebble-shaped plastic stones and a scale model of the Himalayas’ most iconic peaks. These colorful products use thousands of recycled bottle caps and are perfect items for tourists to remember their adventure, and hopefully their responsibility to the environment, even as they return home.