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Natural Awakenings

Plastic On its Way Out at National Parks

Plasticware going into disposal bin

igishevamaria/AdobeStock.com

poll by Ipsos conducted for the ocean conservation group Oceana last November found that 82 percent of registered U.S. voters responding would like the National Park Service to stop selling and distributing single-use plastic items. The survey revealed broad appreciation for national parks, with around four in five respondents saying they had been to a park and 83 percent of previous park visitors looking forward to a return visit. Oceana Plastics Campaign Director Christy Leavitt says, “These polling results indicate that Americans, whether Republican or Democrat, want our parks to be unmarred by the pollution caused by single-use plastic.”

The results show broad support for a campaign led by Oceana and more than 300 other environmental organizations which sent a letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland asking the parks to end the sale and distribution of plastic beverage bottles, bags, foodware and cutlery, and plastic foam products. The proposed Reducing Waste in National Parks Act would see such a policy enacted if passed. “The National Park Service was created to preserve these natural and historic spaces, and in order to truly uphold that purpose, it needs to ban the sale and distribution of single-use plastic items, many of which will end up polluting our environment for centuries to come, despite being used for only a moment,” says Leavitt.

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