Plastic Water Bottles Banned in Machu Picchu
The ban on plastic is making it's way to the land of the Inca. The following message is printed on every Machu Picchu entry ticket, "Carry drinks only in flasks or canteens." It's the 2nd item on a list of things you can't do inside the park. Up to now the park has "recommended" that people refrain from certain behaviors like sashaying around the ruins while nude. Bringing in water and beverages in any old container has been tolerated. But with the new year, rangers in Machu Picchu National Park have started the process of training visitors to avoid bringing in single-use plastic bottles. Other disposable food wrappers and packaging are included in the ban.
The ban on disposable plastics applies to the Inca Trail hikes as well. This information will be included in all our pre-departure documents. Hikers should bring enough reusable containers to carry full day supply of drinking water. I like nalgene pouches because they have a wide mouth and come in several sizes. They can go through a dishwasher too. For travelers, it's convenient that they collapse to fit in your luggage.
Plastic trash is reaching alarming levels in Cusco. Hopefully, the entire region will benefit from a reduction in the use of disposable plastic containers.
Tour operators are being instructed to refrain from providing box lunches packed with disposable plastic. Vidal bought a set of reusable plastic containers for sandwiches or empanadas. We've been using paper bags for a long time. But wrapping messy sandwiches or leaky foods is more challenging. Reusable containers are the best option right now.
We won't be providing the usual individual serving of Gatorade because it only comes in single serving plastic bottles. We're looking for a source for powder which could be added to a reusable water bottle. You can't run down to Sam's Club or Costco in Peru!
Please pass the word. This is a rule we need to live with. And don't forget to bring a reusable water bottle or bladder for each person in your group. It's easy to buy large bottles of drinking water and pour into individual bottles. Or bring your own purification device to prepare tap water in the hotel for drinking.