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National parks to phase out plastic bottles and single-use products, Interior Department says

Conrad Swanson, The Denver Post on

Published in Science & Technology News

DENVER — America’s national parks and other federally managed lands will phase out sales of plastic bottles and single-use products in the hopes of cutting pollution, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced this week.

Those parks, like Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, Zion in Utah and Yosemite in California, have a decade to identify a path away from plastic products and toward recyclable or compostable materials, the order says.

And by 2032 those parks and lands should entirely phase out the sale of plastic and single-use products.

“The Interior Department has an obligation to play a leading role in reducing the impact of plastic waste on our ecosystems and our climate,” Haaland said in a statement. “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.”

 

Not only do plastic bottles pollute public lands, the release said, but so too do single-use plastic bags, food containers, packaging and more. Shifting to materials made of paper, cloth, glass or metals would be far better for the environment, it said.

The Department of the Interior isn’t the only government entity looking to phase out single-use and plastic items. Denver’s City Council enacted a 10-cent plastic bag fee last year, and Colorado’s legislature also enacted a statewide plan to phase out single-use bags and impose new fees.

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