A changing glacier in Italy leads to local plastic ban

It is a world premiere: Alarmed by the situation of its nearby Forni Glacier, the Italian ski resort of Pejo 3000, in the heart of the Stelvio National Park (region of Trentino-Alto Adige), has decided to officially ban plastic.

The discovery of large quantities of micro-plastics on the Forni glacier was a trigger. These tiny pieces, which measure less than 5 millimeters in length, had shown up in places as remote as Arctic ice before. But in April 2019, at the occasion of a conference in Vienna hosted by the EGU (the European Geosciences Union), Roberto Sergio Azzoni from the University of Milano-Bicocca and his colleagues said that they had found them on a terrestrial glacier – the majestic Forni.

The results presented implied that these particles had probably been carried by the wind from the slopes. The Italian resort wanted to act immediately, and as a consequence decided to ban the use of plastic as soon as the resort would reopen in December 2019. The use of plastic bottles, bags, cutlery, plates, straws, cups or condiment bags is now strictly forbidden.

You can read the official statement here and also hear more explanation in this video (in Italian).

For information, the ski area of Pejo 3000 extends from 1,400 to 3,000 metres above sea level. It attracted some 140,000 skiers last winter.

Pictures: courtesy of Val di Sole Turismo (by Matteo Berlenga and Ph. M Corriero).

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