Tourism and Solid Waste Management in Himalayan Trails: a Case Study in the Valley Of Flowers, India
Kuniyal and Jain's research on tourist involvement in solid waste management in Himalayan trails, specifically in and around the Valley of Flowers located in North India investigates the annual visits of 116,000 tourists to Hemkund Sahib and Valley of Flowers, India, within a four-month season. Unfortunately, these once neat and clean trekking areas have become a solid waste (SW) problem due to the absence of appropriate technology for solid waste management (SWM) and the inadequate carrying capacity of existing infrastructures. The study found that cold drink bottles and plastics comprised 92 percent of the non-biodegradable wastes (NBW) available for reuse and recycling. The remaining readily biodegradable wastes (RBW) and biodegradable wastes (BW) are suitable for micro-level biocomposting. The visitors’ ingrained habits of discarding single-use items need to be changed. This study investigates some of the cultural and practical challenges this entails.
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