Beautiful Val di Pejo, in the northern Italian region of Trentino, has announced a complete ban on plastic starting with the upcoming winter season, making it the first ski resort in the world to forego plastic dishes, glasses, bottles, straws, and anything that is packaged with plastic, including ketchup and mayo bags (not to be underestimated since thousands of them are used and often end up in the environment).
Starting from this winter, the mountain huts of the Pejo 3000 ski area, located at an altitude between 1,400 and 3,000 meters in the Stelvio National Park, will be plastic free. Information panels will explain the initiative to skiers, and encourage them not to disperse any kind of waste in the mountains, but rather to carry it down with them to the valley to properly dispose of it.
The initiative was launched after a study by Milan State University and Milan Bicocca revealed that the Forni glacier, once the largest valley glacier in Italy, houses within it between 131 and 162 million particles of plastic components, an amount similar to that found in European seas.
“If plastic reaches high altitudes, it remains there, unchanged, for a long time, even decades, eventually causing damage to the ecosystem and to the health of humans when it enters our food chain,” said Christian Casarotto, glaciologist at the Science Museum (Muse) in Trento. “Projects to contain the dissemination of plastic are urgently needed. They should be adopted all across the Alps.”
These alarming data prompted the Val di Sole Tourism Company to devise this plastic-free scheme in collaboration with local tourism businesses.
This is not the first environmental-friendly project in Trentino’s Val di Pejo, which already uses only renewable energy produced with three small hydroelectric plants.