Single-use plastic to be phased out in U.S. public lands
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland has issued an order to phase out single-use plastic products at national parks and federal lands by 2032.
Single-use plastic products will be phased out of national parks and federal lands in the U.S. by 2032, according to an order from the US Department of the Interior. Secretary’s Order 3407 was announced on June 6, World Ocean Day, by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.
The order is part of President Biden’s Executive Order 14057, which calls for federal agencies to minimize waste and support markets for recycled products.
The order also directs the Department to identify nonhazardous, environmentally preferable alternatives to single-use plastic products, such as compostable or biodegradable materials, or 100 per cent recycled materials. Single-use plastic products include plastic and polystyrene food and beverage containers, bottles, straws, cups, cutlery and disposable plastic bags that are designed for or intended to be used once and discarded.
“The Interior Department has an obligation to play a leading role in reducing the impact of plastic waste on our ecosystems and our climate. As the steward of the nation’s public lands, including national parks and national wildlife refuges, and as the agency responsible for the conservation and management of fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats, we are uniquely positioned to do better for our Earth,” said Secretary Haaland in a June 8 statement. “[This order] will ensure that the Department’s sustainability plans include bold action on phasing out single-use plastic products as we seek to protect our natural environment and the communities around them.”
The statement also recommends that bags made of paper, bioplastics and composite can replace single use plastic bags, as can reusable cloth or thicker plastic alternatives. “Bottles made of bio-based plastic, glass and aluminum, and laminated cartons can replace single use plastic bottles, as can reusable bottles made of glass, aluminum or stainless steel,” it said.