Trash in sawmills at Big Cypress National Preserve Park.
Jeff Greenberg | Universal Image Group | Getty Images
The US Department of the Interior said Wednesday that it will end the sale of single-use plastic products in national parks and other public lands by 2032 as the country’s recycling rate declines, in an effort to reduce a major contributor to plastic pollution. continues.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland order issued To reduce the buying, selling and distribution of such products and packaging on more than 480 million acres of public land, and to identify more sustainable alternatives such as compostable or biodegradable materials.
The measure will help reduce over 14 million tonnes of plastic that ends up in the ocean every year. Under the order, single-use plastic products refer to items that are disposed of immediately after use, such as plastic and polystyrene food and beverage containers, bottles, straws, cups, cutlery and disposable plastic bags.
In 2011, some national parks banned the sale of plastic water bottles in an effort to reduce waste and recycling costs. as a result of sanctions. was removed up to 2 million water bottles Per year the Trump administration withdrew the ban after six years.
The US is one of the world’s largest producers of plastic waste. The country’s recycling rate fell between 5% and 6% last year, estimated in a report Environmental groups from Last Beach Clean Up and Beyond Plastics, as some countries stopped taking US waste exports and waste levels hit new highs.
The Interior Department said it produced about 80,000 tons of municipal solid waste in fiscal year 2020.
“The Department of the Interior has an obligation to take the lead in reducing the impact of plastic waste on our ecosystems and our climate,” Haaland said in a statement.
“Today’s 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.”
Environmental groups praised the announcement.
“The Interior Department’s single-use plastic ban will curb millions of pounds of unnecessary disposable plastic in our national parks and other public lands where it can pollute these special areas,” said Christie Levitt, Oceana’s plastic campaign director. Ocean Conservation Organization.