Peru: 3,000 disposable plastic bottles discarded every day in Machu Picchu

Isabel Guerra

Literally thousands of used disposable plastic bottles are invading the areas surrounding Machu Picchu citadel, because local merchants, who live almost exclusively on tourism, refuse to obey the municipal decree that bans these containers.

The local population is approximately 5,000 people, whose economy highly depends on commerce and services for tourists.

Marcela Moreno, Head of Environmental and Natural Resources, told EFE that some 3,000 bottled water and other bottled beverages are sold everyday in Machu Picchu.

The city collected 10,000 kg of plastic disposable containers in 2007 and 20,000  kg in 2008, so this year local authorities decided to ban them "without calculating the economic impact it would have on the population," said Moreno.

The amount of plastic collected for recycling is enormous, but authorities are more concerned about all the bottles that are not disposed into the recycling bins, which could make a quarter of the total amount, according to Moreno.

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