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A Toxics-Free Future


Nepal Plastics and Health Report

The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is a landlocked sovereign state located in Asia. Nepal has a surface area of 147,181.48 km2, lies within the latitude 26º 22‵N to 30º 27‵ N and longitude 80º 04‵E to 88º 12‵E in South Asia. The Himalayan country borders China to the north and India to the south, east, and west. The average east-to-west length of the country is 885km and the north-to-south width is 193km. The altitude ranges from 60 m in the south to 8848 m, with the summit of Mount Everest in the north within a short distance of only 160 km. The nearest point in Nepal from the sea is about 960 km away. 

Nepal is among the least developing countries and among 47 landlocked countries in the world. Nepal’s population as of July 2022 is 30,225,582 people with a net increase of one person per minute.Several cities in Nepal are in the process of rapid urbanization, which has resulted in a higher amount of waste generation. The Capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu, has a population of about 2,041,578 (as per the 2021 census) in the district itself, with approximately 3.1 million in the entire Kathmandu valley. Consequently, plastic use is also comparatively higher in this city, and so is the problem of plastic waste. Kathmandu Metropolitan Area alone produces 600 metric tons of waste per day among which 15.96% is plastic waste (ADB 2013).

Nepal imported plastics and plastic articles worth US $627.96 million in 2021, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database. Petrochemical feedstock, naphtha and other oils, and refined crude oil are used as feedstock for petrochemical crackers that produce the basic building blocks for making plastics.  

It is very hard to determine the actual imports of plastic and itsrelated products in Nepal. We have data from different sources onlyshowing imports of direct plastic granules and resins as raw material. One source of data shows imported plastic raw materials worth $273 million in2020 (Nepal's Top 10 Imports 2020 ( But these arejust imports of granules and resins.

Special thanks to IPEN's South Asia Regional Coordinator, Tripti Arora, and the Regional Hub, and the lead organization developing this report,Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED), for their important contributions to the development and finalization of the project.

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