Single-Use Plastics to Be Banned in National Parks

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by | Jun 9, 2022

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Today, the Biden administration announced a series of actions it will be taking, including the phaseout of single-use plastics in national parks and other public lands, which would reduce the procurement, sale, and distribution of single-use plastic products and packaging in 423 national parks.

The move comes on the heels of a letter sent last year by over 300 organizations and businesses, urging US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to ban the sale and distribution of plastic foam products and other unnecessary single-use plastic items — including bottles, bags, cups, plates, bowls, and utensils — in these protected areas. 

A recent Oceana poll found that 82% of American voters would support a decision by the National Park Service to stop selling and distributing single-use plastic at national parks. Eighty-three percent agreed that it is important that national parks remain free of plastic trash, and 76% agreed that single-use plastic items have no place in national parks. 

Only 9% of the plastic waste ever generated has been recycled, and companies continue to push new plastic products onto the market. With plastic production growing at a rapid rate, increasing amounts of plastic can be expected to enter the environment, hence the importance of remaining plastic free.

Other plastic bans in the US include a new law in New Jersey which no longer allows grocery stores and retailers to distribute plastic bags regardless of thickness, and bans polystyrene foam packaging from restaurants and food distributors; it also adds to a law that went into effect in November 2021 that makes plastic straws available only on request. 

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