UIAA MPA Best New Initiative logo

WINNER of the UIAA Mountain Protection Awards 2020-21 Best New Initiative!


We are very proud that our concept, the No Bins Project, won Best New Initiative at the UIAA Mountain Protection Awards 20-21.

Tourism is vital to mountain resort economies, but systemic change is needed to ensure it becomes truly sustainable. It will take a shift in attitude by all involved. Tourists, hospitality businesses and resort operators all have a vital role to play and we need to better understand their needs so that they can become part of the solution.

The goal of the No Bins project is to share the responsibility for removing rubbish and other waste from the mountains with those who are climbing, hiking, skiing, walking and visiting them. In other locations, removing rubbish bins has already proven to be one way of achieving this.

We want to move attitudes away from visitors buying consumables in single-use packing and throwing away rubbish on the mountains (even into a bin) and towards consciously choosing items in reusable or recyclable containers. Critically, we want everyone to take responsibility for their waste by carrying all their rubbish back down the mountain to be reused, recycled or disposed of using the infrastructure on the valley floor.

That will take consultation and engagement with visitors so that they understand that their freedom to enjoy the mountains also comes with a responsibility to protect them too.

The Creation of a Blueprint

Our ambitions are bold, but we know that it will take time, study and consultation with those in the outdoor industries to understand their waste issues and to find ways to reduce it.

We hope that by reviewing the learning of all the projects where bins have already been successfully removed that we can create a proven methodology – the No Bins Blueprint – that can be applied to a wide range of tourist resorts, not only mountainous ones.

By exploring what has worked well and understanding the challenges faced by those who’ve already been on this journey, and by talking to stakeholders in mountain resorts we believe we can better protect our precious natural environment.

Once completed, the Blueprint will be made freely available to resorts anywhere in the world so that we can protect the mountains whilst keeping them open for tourists to enjoy.

Next Steps and How You Can Help

Tell us what you think.

Whether you are a tourism expert, a service provider, a mountain professional or a visitor we would welcome your thoughts on the project – both positive and negative! You can email us at info@zerodechetmontblanc.fr and be candid with us.


Get Involved

We are actively recruiting to find a team of volunteers with the skills we need to help drive this ambitious project forward. So, if you have time to spare and/or the skills outlined below and would like to get involved on a voluntary basis, please get in touch if you have experience in:

  • implementing resort-based sustainability projects in the tourism sector.
  • change management, stakeholder or community engagement.
  • advocating for an idea – we will need ambassadors who share our vision and can help us engage with stakeholders and spread the word.
  • fundraising for a not-for-profit association.



We are fortunate to have the University of Toulon already engaged as our research partner for this exciting project. We will need to raise funds to meet the expenses of the project including:

  • Travel and meeting room costs for team members
  • The cost of employing an intern for three months to help design the Blueprint and engage visitors to the valley
  • The costs of developing and producing communications/marketing material.


If you would like to help progress the No Bins Project in anyway, please contact us at info@zerodechetmontblanc.fr

Whose Bright Idea Was the No Bins Project?

Our huge thanks to Katie Moore at Yak Media for the production of this video

The No Bins project grew out of a conversation between Zero Dechet Mont Blanc’s Raluca Ana and Ali Pritchard about resorts where bins had been removed to protect the environment. We started to think about what would need to change in the mountains to make the same thing possible: change what people buy, how things are packaged, how you inform everyone… It was a great challenge!

We quickly realised the best place to start would be a review of these projects where bins had been removed already, looking at what worked well, what challenges there were, and taking the lessons to come up with a methodology which was already proven.

Being named “Best New Initiative” at the UIAA Mountain Protection Awards 20-21 is a wonderful endorsement of our idea. Being a fairly young association, this is a very rewarding moment for us, as it helps to solidify our place in the area of mountain protection. We’re really excited to be working with our research partner and within the local community to bring our idea to fruition.

About the UIAA Mountain Protection Awards

The annual UIAA Mountain Protection Award (MPA) was created in 2013. During its eight years of existence, the platform has enabled people to raise finances to build key infrastructures, conduct vital research and fulfil pending project goals. In parallel, it has provided an international showcase and communication platform for projects to raise awareness and exchange ideas and initiatives. Not only has it supported local communities, it has fostered its own global community. The Award celebrates innovation and the desire of climbers to make a positive difference.


See the UIAA announcement here