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The Nepalese government has banned all bottled drinks from the Everest region to minimize littering on the slopes of the world's highest peak.

Empty bottles left by climbers have concerned environmentalists for years. Some 30,000 trekkers leave an estimated 200,000 water, beer and other beverage bottles on the slopes each year.

Now only drinks in aluminum cans will be permitted, because they can be crushed and easily carried back to the base, said Umesh Singh of the Nepalese Tourism Ministry. Bottled beverages are carried on yaks or by porters from the base camps. But the 5 cents a bottle offered by recyclers doesn't come close to covering the cost of bringing them back. So they are left behind.