US to Ban Single-Use Plastic in National Parks, Public Areas by 2032

US to Ban Single-Use Plastic in National Parks, Public Areas by 2032

Image: CTV News

The single-use plastic bottles are one of the main trash sources in many public areas and beautiful national parks. Around 40 percent of the yearly plastic waste in the environment is due to single-use plastics and packaging materials. To ensure that plastic waste doesn’t ruin the environment any further, the US Interior Department has decided to ban single-use plastic products in serene national parks and other public areas by 2032.

Recently, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland declared and issued an order to decrease the sale, procurement, and distribution of plastic products and packaging. This is to encourage people to make more use of sustainable alternatives, such as biodegradable or compostable materials.

Such eco-friendly measures are most likely to decrease over 14 million tons of plastic, an amount that often ends up in the oceans, annually. As per the issued order, single-use plastic items are items disposed of instantly after use. For instance, polystyrene, plastic beverage and food containers, straws, bottles, cutlery, cups, and disposable plastic bags.

US to Ban Single-Use Plastic in National Parks, Public Areas by 2032

Image: The Straits Times

In 2011, certain national parks in the US imposed a ban on single-use plastic for reducing the costs of waste and recycling. Such restrictions further resulted in the elimination of around 2 million water bottles every year before Trump withdrew the orders of the ban after six years.

Since the U.S. is one of the largest plastic waste producers in the world, the country needs to follow a specific recycling rate. But last year, the recycling rate of the country fell to somewhere between 5% and 6%. This estimate is as per a report from the country’s environmental groups Beyond Plastics and Last Beach Clean-Up. After some countries have stopped taking U.S. waste exports, plastic waste levels will reach new heights.

According to the Interior Department, the U.S. nearly produced 80,000 tons of municipal solid waste in 2020. Therefore, the department had to take appropriate action to decrease the impact of plastic waste on the climate and ecosystems.


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