Plastic water bottles to be phased out in national parks

Sales of plastic water bottles and other single-use plastic products will be phased out in national parks and on public land in the United States over the next decade, the Department of the Interior said this week.

Deb Haaland, the Secretary of the Interior, announced the move on Wednesday. As the manager of 480 million acres of federal land, he said, the department has an obligation to play a leading role in reducing plastic waste, including food and beverage containers, bottles, straws, cups, utensils. and disposable plastic bags.

“As stewards of the nation’s public lands, including national parks and national wildlife sanctuaries, and as the agency responsible for the conservation and management of fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats, we are in a position to unique to do better for our Earth, “he said in a statement.

The Department of the Interior ordinance reflects a growing global push to address plastic waste pollution and the challenges of getting rid of it, as recycling alonehampered by shortages in collection and transportation, it was not enough for the United States to keep up with the mountains of plastic.

The department acted in response to a executive order by President Biden to reduce waste.

In a first phase, the department’s offices and offices will be required to report how they will phase out single-use plastic products by 2032, the Interior Department’s order says. They will also be asked to come up with ideas on how to change public behavior, for example by adding water fountains and bottle filling stations.

Oceana, a marine conservation organization, estimated that the move by the Department of the Interior would reduce “millions of pounds of unnecessary disposable plastic in our national parks and other public land.”

“Our national parks, by definition, are protected areas,” Christy Leavitt, Oceana’s plastics campaign director, said in a statementadding that “we haven’t been able to protect them from plastic for too long”.

Disposable plastic water bottles have been a target of politicians for years. In 2011, the Obama administration encouraged the National Park Service to stop selling them. But the Park Service, under the Trump administration, terminated the policy in 2017saying that the ban “removed the healthiest drinkWhile allowing for sugary drinks and that only about two dozen of the 417 National Park Service sites had adopted it.

The Interior Department’s order is in line with similar measures countries and companies have announced to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills and waterways. Tens of millions of tons of plastic pollute the oceans every year, dramatized by images of marine life strangled by plastic rings and tales of birds that have died from ingesting plastic waste.

Environmentalists, companies and policy makers have approached the problem from many angles, from coffee counters to legislative rooms.

Paper straws have taken the place of plastic ones coffee shops Other restaurants in the UK. Companies have developed soap sheets that come in a package to replace laundry detergent in heavy plastic jugs. Some global hotel chains have gradually eliminated miniature toilet bottles, installing pump dispensers instead. Beverage companies are get rid of the plastic rings who bind six packs of soda and beer, replacing them with cardboard.

In Britain, shops charge plastic bagsand the authorities have banned the manufacture of products containing plastic microspheres. In April, the government imposed taxable limits on the amount of non-recycled plastic packaging that can be used in a product as an incentive for companies to use recycled materials.

In March, representatives from 175 nations decided to start writing a global treaty this would limit the explosive growth of plastic pollution.

That of the European Union ban on single-use plastics, including straws, plates, bags, cotton swabs and utensils – identified as the most common plastic waste on the coast – went into effect last July in its 27 member countries.

Nearly a year later, compliance has been patchy, despite the effort towards a unified approach. The industries and article manufacturers concerned rejected it, said Piotr Barczak, head of waste policy at the European Environment Office, a network of environmental organizations.

“In countries where you can’t buy those items anymore, yes, of course you see a lot less of them on the beaches,” he said. “I wouldn’t put the blame or the responsibility on people. It is up to the regulatory authorities to regulate the producers and those who place it on the market. It is up to the police to check it. “

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