This summer, the United States Interior Department announced that it would be phasing out the sales of single-use plastics in public lands and national parks over the next ten years.
With declining recycling rates, this ban will attempt to mitigate the significant contributions of the US to global plastic pollution. With some parks alone dealing with over 70 million tons of plastic waste annually, this ban is said to have the potential to reduce more than 14 million tons of plastic annually.
What is single-use plastic?
To better understand what this ban encompasses, it’s essential to understand what ‘single-use’ plastic refers to. Single-use plastic products are items that are discarded immediately after just one use. This could be anything from a water bottle, to a food takeout container, to a plastic bag or straw. On average, a single-use plastic item is used for only 12 minutes before being thrown away, but it takes hundreds if not over a thousand years to decompose.
Why does it matter?
Unfortunately, the US is one of the world’s largest producers of plastic waste, and waste levels have reached new highs in recent years. By banning sales of single-use plastics, public lands and national parks will have to shift to using more sustainable alternatives like reusable or truly compostable materials by 2032.
This is a huge step in the kind of bold action we need to break away from plastics!
Pledge to quit using single-use plastic!
If you’re ready to commit to a more sustainable future, you don’t have to wait for plastic to be banned. You can quit single-use plastics today and be a step ahead. Visit https://pledge2050.org to join thousands of others that have committed to a plastic-free future. If National parks can do it, you can too!
Read about other recent single-use plastic bans here: