March 20: Yeti Airlines/Tara Air has formally initiated the process to airlift 100 tons of non-biodegradable wastes from the Everest region to be recycled in Kathmandu. Issuing a press statement, the airline company said this campaign is a continuation of the airline's CSR programme for Waste Management and Environmental Awareness since 2008 in the Everest region.
The company further said that it is taking this initiative in partnership with Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality, Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC), Himalaya Club and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Organizing an function at Lukla Airport on March 17, the airline said it flagged off its first flight for the clean-up campaign and shared information about the quantity of collected waste in various collection centers in the Everest region along with a time-bound plan to airlift them. Around 5,000 kg of waste was airlifted in the same day, according to the company.
Yeti Airlines-Tara Air have set an ambitious target of flying out 100 tons of waste from the Everest region in the year 2018 as part of its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN, particularly relating to responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), climate change (SDG13), biodiversity consumption (SDG 15) and partnership (SDG 17).
While the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC), a local environmental conservation organization and the Himalaya Club Lukla, coordinates the collection of wastes in the Everest region, Blue Waste to Value, a recycling firm in Kathmandu recycles the wastes, as part of its agreement with SPCC. The wastes comprise of mostly empty beer bottles and cans, empty food tins, and discarded mountaineering and trekking equipment.
“On behalf of our airlines we would like to thank SPCC, Himalayan Club, Blue Waste to Value and the other organisations involved in this Everest Clean Up Campaign 2018. We are grateful to the UNDP for their guidance and support in our efforts to become a more socially responsible business enterprise. We would also like to thank the media for supporting this environmental protection initiative with their coverage,” said Umesh Chandra Rai, CEO of Yeti Airlines/Tara Air.
“We hope that such collaborative efforts will lead to success in protecting our planet’s fragile ecosystems for our future generations to enjoy.”
UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Nepal, Valerie Juliand, said, "I would like to congratulate Yeti Airlines for taking up the initiative to clean up one of world’s most treasured tourist hotspots, the Everest region. Activities such as this will help promote a culture of ethical and responsible business, while ultimately contributing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”