Bid to make Yr Wyddfa the world’s first ‘litter free’ mountain
Dale Spridgeon, local democracy reporter
A major push is on to make a Welsh mountain the first in the world to be ‘plastic free’.
Efforts are underway to make Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) – the highest mountain in Wales – the first to achieve the prestigious green status.
It is in response to the growing concerns over plastic waste and its impact on the environment.
Around 600,000 people a year climb Yr Wyddfa – which stands at an elevation of 1,085 metres above sea level. Increasingly, many do not take their litter away.
Even at the height of winter, when there are fewer visitors, piles of rubbish have been found dumped at the summit and strewn on mountain trails.
Regular climbers frequently report discarded drinks, plastic bags and even emergency foil blankets lying around.
Despite the fact that armies of volunteers scour the mountain picking up bags of rubbish, the littering is still having a devastating impact.
Surveys of soil samples previously found significant quantities of microplastic pollution in the environment.
Now, business people from the area to put their heads together. They hope to devise a plan which would put Yr Wyddfa on the world map as the first plastic free mountain.
The National Park Authority is hosting an event at the Royal Victoria Hotel in Llanberis, on Monday, April 24.
It will set out on its ‘Plastic Free Path’ with businesses from within the Yr Wyddfa zone. One aim is to agree an accessible framework for a Plastic Free Awards Scheme.
The project would also raise awareness about the harmful effects of plastic pollution on the natural beauty of the Eryri region and the need for sustainable practices. A focus will be on engaging with the public over littering, methods for reducing unnecessary, single use plastics and ways to reuse and recycle.
Rob and Fiona Nicholson, from Plas Coch, Llanberis, said: “At our guest house on the foothills of Yr Wyddfa, we believe in the beauty and preservation of the natural world around us. That’s why we’re committed to reducing our use of single-use plastics.
“By doing so, we can protect the stunning environment that our guests come to experience and help ensure its beauty lasts for future visitors to the area.”
The event will feature guest speakers from across North Wales, and trade stands.
It will give a chance to discuss ideas and the Authority’s Chief Executive Emyr Williams will provide a conclusion to the proceedings.
Alec Young the ‘Plastic Free’ Yr Wyddfa Project Officer said: “We are excited to host the ‘Plastic Free Yr Wyddfa’ event and to collaborate with businesses in Yr Wyddfa region to safeguard the mountain and its’ wildlife’s future.
“We hope this event will inspire local business owners, as well as spark a conversation about how we can reduce our use of single use plastics, whilst helping preserve the natural beauty of Eryri and maintaining profits .”
By raising awareness about reducing plastic waste on yr Wyddfa we also highlight the broader issue of littering in the National Park.
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May I suggest sniffer dogs trained to detect plastic, all access routes fitted with checkpoints and and the introduction of voracious plastic eating fungus spread across the slopes to contain any particles which happen to drift into the zone.
No. It would be easier to prevent visitors carrying any muck onto the mountains, not just Yr Wyddfa but the entire park.