Waste production is shaped by economic, geographic and social factors. In the case of Langtang National Park, the major contributors are tourists, international and domestic guides and porters, local communities, and seasonal internal migrants.
Post pandemic, Langtang National Park has been receiving a steady flow of tourists. From July 2021 to January 2022, about 10,400 tourists visited Langtang National Park, spending an average of 10 days in the park. There are 115 households in Langtang village and Kyangjin Gompa, and most depend on tourism-related activities such as running lodges, tea houses and portering.
Only about 5% of locals are involved in agriculture and yak farming, and much of construction and portering work is done by migrants from other parts of Nepal. Together, they contribute significantly to the production of plastic bottles, glass bottles, and wrappers.
Changing food practices are also changing the profile of waste in the area. Traditional dishes take longer to prepare and require more fuelwood and are being replaced with packaged foods like noodles, leading to high production of non-degradable waste.
Post-earthquake reconstruction has also led to traditional houses being replaced by concrete blocks. The construction materials including cement, plastic, and steel bars are transported up on mule trains or by helicopter. Left-over packaging and construction waste litter the settlements.