Visitors are prohibited to take plastic into Huascaran National Park

William Martínez Shiñquin, head of the Huascarán National Park, announced that they have issued a provision that prohibits the entry of single-use plastic objects into this protected natural area, in compliance with the Supreme Decree issued by the Ministry of the Environment. Martínez explained that that future visitors and tourists wishing to enter the National Park will not be able to take with them plastic bags, expanded polystyrene (EPS) or disposable plastic bottles.

“There are other alternatives that visitors can opt for, such as bags that are reusable. What is sought with this is to reduce the impact due to the use of plastic. It is a good measure to be able to conserve the ecosystems of natural areas such as our park, which has a great natural wealth that we all must protect”, the park official stressed.

During last month of the previous year, students of the Environmental University Network (RUA), based at the National University Santiago Antunez de Mayolo (Unasam), aimed to execute a project to reduce the use of plastic bags in the Callejón de Huaylas. The project, called “zero plastics”, seeks to promote the care of the environment with sustainable socio-environmental projects, as well as the reduction of the use of plastic bags and to replace them with cloth bags or tote bags.

Edison Salazar Sánchez, general sub-coordinator of Unasam, explained that private companies will be called to support this initiative. Likewise, strategic alliances will be formed with the different public and private institutions of the Ancash region to create awareness and replicate it in the cities and villages around Huaraz.

Foamed polystyrene is used a lot in Peru and known under the name of technopor. One of the problems for Peru is that it takes up a lot of space in landfills. Apparently Peru only counts with 12 landfill spots whereas the country actually needs 200.  This is why the majority of waste, including many plastics, end up in dumps, on the street, the edges of rivers and, finally, in the ocean. It is there where it is fragmented and can be consumed by animals, which causes death. However, it tragically also returns indirectly to our table: in the pork, chicken, cow, fish and sea food that we eat.

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