Efforts are underway to make Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) the first to achieve the prestigious green status.
The ‘Plastic Free Yr Wyddfa’ project is an initiative launched by Eryri National Park, in response to the growing concerns over plastic waste and its impact on the environment.
Around 600,000 people a year climb Yr Wyddfa and many do not take their litter away. Even at the height of winter, when there are fewer visitors, piles of rubbish have been found at the summit and on mountain trails, with regular climbers frequently finding discarded drinks, plastic bags and even emergency foil blankets lying around.
Volunteers scour the mountain picking up bags of rubbish, but littering is still having a devastating impact; surveys of soil samples previously found significant quantities of microplastic pollution in the environment.
Now, business people from the area to put their heads together. They hope to devise a plan which would put Yr Wyddfa on the world map as the first plastic free mountain. The park authority is hosting an event at the Royal Victoria Hotel in Llanberis, on Monday, 24 April.
It will set out on its ‘Plastic Free Path’ with businesses from within the Yr Wyddfa zone. One aim is to agree an accessible framework for a Plastic Free Awards Scheme. The project would also raise awareness about the harmful effects of plastic pollution on the natural beauty of the Eryri region and the need for sustainable practices. A focus will be on engaging with the public over littering, methods for reducing unnecessary, single use plastics and ways to reuse and recycle.
The event will feature guest speakers from across North Wales, and trade stands.
It will give a chance to discuss ideas and the authority’s chief executive, Emyr Williams, will provide a conclusion to the proceedings.
Plastic Free Yr Wyddfa project officer, Alec Young, said: “We are excited to host the ‘Plastic Free Yr Wyddfa’ event and to collaborate with businesses in Yr Wyddfa region to safeguard the mountain and its’ wildlife’s future.
“We hope this event will inspire local business owners, as well as spark a conversation about how we can reduce our use of single use plastics, whilst helping preserve the natural beauty of Eryri and maintaining profits .”
By raising awareness about reducing plastic waste on yr Wyddfa we also highlight the broader issue of littering in the National Park.