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Initiated in 2018, The Himalayan Cleanup is the biggest campaign for collective action our mountains have seen against plastic pollution. Every year, we call out the TOP POLLUTING companies of the mountains and DEMAND that they get their ACT together.

THC also calls on individuals, organisations, institutions, waste managers and policy makers to respond to the plastic crisis through action at all levels.

Since its inception, more than 35000 individuals have joined in to be part of the movement. 


On your lifestyles.

Participants get their hands dirty and reflect on existing consumption patterns and waste.


To sustainable lifestyles

Knowing our trash is a great place to begin the journey of zero waste.


For better systems and products

Inputs to policy exercises and advocating for extended producer responsibility with companies whose products create maximum waste in the mountains.

The Himalayan
Cleanup Journey

The Himalayan Cleanup - a day to show our love for the mountains. This simple idea that took shape in 2018 has grown to become one of the biggest campaigns that our mighty mountains have witnessed. The idea was simple, but it was powerful too. It was not just a regular cleanup. We wanted to understand what was in our waste, and who were the top polluters of the mountains. 

An open call for participating in THC had more than 250+ organisations and institutions from across the mountains joining in to clean up sites in their own areas. From Jammu and Kashmir to Sikkim to Arunachal Pradesh, around 15000 people came together to show their concern and love for the mountains. It also showed how the plastic pollution was a crisis across the mountain states.  

Since then, The Himalayan Cleanup is continued every year with volunteers doing home based audits even during the pandemic times. THC is now observed from May 26 - 30, and volunteers can choose any one day in between these dates to conduct their cleanup exercise.

The Himalayan
Cleanup Process


Select your cleanup site

A popular tourist spot,

a famous landmark,

important ecological areas, campuses,

a stretch of road, parks, etc.


Gather volunteers

Enroll volunteers through schools/ colleges/ organisations or individuals. Use social media or by word of mouth.

Register your event

Register your event online. This helps us keep track of all events that are being planned. You can choose any day between May 26 - 30.

Procure materials

Brief the volunteers

Make noise

Gloves (important) and sacks to pick and collect the waste. Weighing scale and data sheets. Do not forget to make provisions for water. 

Do dedicate some time to brief the volunteers on how the cleanup is to be carried out, and on wearing proper clothing and shoes.  

Invite local media to cover the event.

Take photographs of the cleanup for sharing.

Conducting The Himalayan Cleanup

The Himalayan Cleanup is not just a 'cleanup and dump' exercise. It involves a waste and brand audit too, and volunteers have to be prepared for this exercise that requires diligence and patience.  It involves the following steps


Collect all the waste in clean up area and bring to the sorting area


Segregate and classify the waste as per the guide.


Count, weigh and audit each category of waste. Follow the visual guide.


Fill up the data sheet and upload it. 

Managing the collected waste

The Himalayan Cleanup should focus only on collecting non-biodegradable waste. All biodegradable waste should be left where they are.

From the segregated waste, recyclable materials should go to the local material recovery through scrap dealers and rag pickers.

All other non-recyclable residual waste should be sent to the local plastic waste management units or material recovery facility or authorised dumping site. Link up with your local authorities. 

What happens to the data? 

The data that is collected as part of The Himalayan Cleanup helps strengthen the argument to advocate for producer responsibility in the mountains. The data therefore is collated and presented at various forums with policy makers.  Data is also used locally by organisations and institutions to advocate for bye laws and stringent regulations to curb plastic pollution. 

collation & analysis

The data that is sent back from all the states are cleaned up for errors, collated and analysed by the team. 

report development

Based on the data and other background information, the team works to draft the report for the cleanup for the year. 


The most important part of THC is the communication part. The data and report are presented at various levels, from local bodies to State Government to Legislators to advocate for better policies and practices. The top polluting companies are named and extended producer responsibility demanded of them.  


Water Bottle

All volunteers bring their own reusable water bottles. 


Avoid packed lunch

Use cloth banners.

Not plastic flex 

Go for strong reusable gloves and not disposable ones

Do not buy plastic garbage bags for collection of waste - Use old sacks

Do not distribute juice to volunteers. 

Fresh fruits is the zero waste way

Join us for The Himalayan Cleanup


Coordinating Organisations

Zero Waste Himalaya



Integrated Mountain Initiative

Tayakhim’, J-155, Tadong, Gangtok, Sikkim – 737102


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