Volunteers clearing Ben Nevis from rubbish were driven totally bananas: Out of 18 bags of the rubbish they collected 10 were full of banana peels! The good news about that is: many people ascending the British mountains are conscious not to litter by throwing away non-degradable waste. The bad news: in the harsh environs of mountains even organic litter won’t just disappear and will affect the area adversely.
The colder the environment, the longer it takes the litter to decompose – banana peels take several years! The minerals in the litter also change the composition of soil and as a source of food it can even affect the fragile equilibrium of species inhabiting those areas.
On Ben Nevis there will be volunteers dressed in banana costumes around this summer, to remind hikers to take all their litter back down the mountain. But this problem is not limited to Ben Nevis. All areas at higher altitudes that are popular with trekkers, all over the world, are facing the same issues. So remember next time you’re on a mountain: Don’t litter. Neither plastic nor banana peels, apple cores or other seemingly organic litter!