cloudyn.png
Sunday September 25th, 2022 5:24AM

Interior phasing out plastic water bottles at national parks

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Interior Department said Wednesday it will phase out sales of plastic water bottles and other single-use products at national parks and on other public lands over the next decade, targeting a major source of U.S. pollution.

An order issued by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland calls for the department to reduce the purchase, sale and distribution of single-use plastic products and packaging on 480 million acres of federally managed lands, with a goal of phasing out the products by 2032. The order directs the department to identify alternatives to single-use plastics, such as compostable or biodegradable materials or 100% recycled materials.

“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,'' the Interior Department is “uniquely positioned to do better for our Earth,” Haaland said in a statement.

The order essentially reverses a 2017 Trump administration policy that prevented national parks from banning plastic water bottle sales. Only a fraction of the more than 400 national parks, but some of the most popular ones like the Grand Canyon, had implemented such a ban.

Environmental groups hailed the Biden administration's announcement, which advocates and some Democratic lawmakers have been urging for years.

“Our national parks, by definition, are protected areas — ones that Americans have loved for their natural beauty and history for over a century — and yet we have failed to protect them from plastic for far too long,'' said Christy Leavitt, plastics campaign director for the conservation group Oceana.

Haaland's order “will curb millions of pounds of unnecessary disposable plastic in our national parks and other public lands, where it can end up polluting these special areas,'' Leavitt said. The group urged the National Park Service and other agencies to move swiftly to carry out changes in reducing single-use plastics well before 2032.

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., also urged quicker action to address what he called the plastic pollution crisis. “With everyone – from park rangers to park visitors – doing their part we can get this done before the decade has passed!” Merkley said in a statement.

Merkley, who chairs a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Interior Department, is co-sponsor of a bill that would ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles in national parks.

Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., who co-sponsored the bill in the House, hailed the Interior announcement as “a huge step forward in the effort to protect our environment and its creatures from the damage of single-use plastics.''

Quigley, who is planning a visit to Yosemite National Park, said he looks forward to learning how the park will implement the new rule.

Oceana said a national poll conducted by Ipsos in November 2021 found that more than 80% of American voters would support a decision by the National Park Service to stop selling and distributing single-use plastics at national parks

Haaland said the plastics order was especially important because less than 10% of plastics ever produced have been recycled, and U.S. recycling rates are falling as China and other countries have stopped accepting U.S. waste.

Interior-managed lands generated nearly 80,000 tons of municipal solid waste in fiscal year 2020, the department said, much of it plastics.

Of the more than 300 million tons of plastic produced every year for use in a wide variety of applications, at least 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year, and plastic makes up 80% of all marine debris found from surface waters to deep-sea sediments, the department said.

Many marine species ingest or are entangled by plastic debris, causing severe injuries or death, and plastic pollution threatens food safety and quality, human health, coastal tourism and contributes to climate change, the department said.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Health, AP Business
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Experts urge Germany's govt to prepare for fall COVID wave
An expert panel says authorities in Germany should prepare for several possible pandemic scenarios this fall that would likely strain the country’s health system
12:52PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Interior phasing out plastic water bottles at national parks
The Interior Department says it will phase out sales of plastic water bottles and other single-use products at national parks and on other public lands over the next decade, targeting a major source of U.S. pollution
12:36PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Stocks mostly fall as choppy trading persists on Wall Street
Stocks edged mostly lower in afternoon trading on Wall Street Wednesday and trading remained choppy as investors try to determine how rising interest rates and inflation will impact the economy
12:27PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
EU lawmakers to vote on banning combustion-engine cars
European Union lawmakers are set to vote on the future of combustion engine vehicles
11:13AM ( 1 hour ago )
Court: Armed man arrested near Justice Kavanaugh's house
The Supreme Court says an armed man who made threats against Justice Brett Kavanaugh was arrested near the justice’s house in Maryland
11:02AM ( 2 hours ago )
Jan. 6 committee's members are on diverging political paths
The nine members of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection find themselves on diverging political paths as each prepares for a defining moment in their careers as the series of public hearings begins
10:23AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
'Only God can help': Hundreds die as Somalia faces famine
No mother should have to lose her child
2:21AM ( 10 hours ago )
Vietnam's health minister arrested over COVID test gouging
State media say Vietnam's health minister and the mayor of the capital Hanoi have been arrested in an investigation into massive price gouging of COVID-19 tests
1:53AM ( 11 hours ago )
FDA advisers back Novavax COVID shots as 4th US option
A more traditional kind of COVID-19 vaccine is a step closer to becoming the fourth option for U.S. adults
5:40PM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Health
Train derailment in east Iran kills at least 22, injures 87
A passenger train has derailed in eastern Iran, killing at least 22 people and injuring 87 others
12:05PM ( 1 hour ago )
Report: Philanthropy can help protect against climate change
Philanthropists could help ease the damage from climate change by donating more money to address global warming and the communities most at risk from it, according to a report from the research organization Candid
12:03PM ( 1 hour ago )
Spirit Airlines, a bidding war target, postpones buyout vote
Spirit Airlines, the target of a budget airline bidding war, is postponing a Friday vote on whether to accept one of those buyout offers after a flurry of counter proposals from JetBlue and Frontier Airlines
11:57AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Experts urge Germany's govt to prepare for fall COVID wave
An expert panel says authorities in Germany should prepare for several possible pandemic scenarios this fall that would likely strain the country’s health system
12:52PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Ikea Norway offers help with baby names after COVID-19 boom
Swedish retailer Ikea is known for the distinctive names of its flat-pack home products
12:34PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Stocks mostly fall as choppy trading persists on Wall Street
Stocks edged mostly lower in afternoon trading on Wall Street Wednesday and trading remained choppy as investors try to determine how rising interest rates and inflation will impact the economy
12:27PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Justice Dept. names 9 to aid in review of Uvalde shooting
The Justice Department has named a team of nine people, including an FBI official and former police chiefs, to aid in a review of the law enforcement response to the deadly Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting
12:23PM ( 45 minutes ago )
4th grade Uvalde survivor: 'I don't want it to happen again'
An 11-year-old girl who survived the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas has told members of Congress how she covered herself in her dead classmate’s blood and played dead to avoid being shot
12:19PM ( 49 minutes ago )