Plastic-Free Parks

Our national parks are drowning in a rising tide of plastic waste.  Single-use disposable plastic bottles are the single biggest component of national park waste streams. They are damaging human health and our environment with disproportionate impacts on low-income and communities of color.

Mountains of plastic bottles burden wildlife, create greenhouse gases, and cost taxpayers to haul away. As crowds return to record levels following the pandemic, a tsunami of plastic waste will again swamp our parks.

In June 2022, the Department of the Interior announced a phaseout of single-use plastics in national parks over the next ten years. Now, we must work to ensure the order is carried out as quickly and effectively as possible.

By ensuring there are adequate sources of free potable water available for park visitors and outlawing sales of plastic water bottles at all national parks, we can cut discarded plastics by 75%. Our national parks can set a “green” example and encourage all public lands and the planet take a break from plastic.

The Biden administration has pledged to make national parks plastic-free over the next ten years. But why wait? Park concessioners are willing to stop stocking disposable plastic items now, but they need direction from the National Park Service.

Read our petition, delivered to National Park Service Director Chuck Sams, to expedite the plastic-free timeline for national parks to 2 years, not ten! Read the petition»


PEERMail | Wrapping Our Heads Around Plastics

Progress in addressing the plastics problem has been frustratingly slow due to government inaction. However, we ...

Webinar | Plastics Revealed: Health Risks, Environmental Impacts, and the Path to Solutions

Join PEER, Beyond Plastics, and Oceana to uncover the global threats posed by plastic pollution and its health hazards.

COMMENTARY | Plastics Pollution – Setbacks and Solutions

With plastics production on course to triple over the coming decades, immediate efforts are needed to tackle the ...

Legal Action Filed to Halt Carcinogenic PFAS in Fluorinated Containers

Citizen Groups File Notice of Intent to Sue EPA

COMMENTARY | Countdown for PEER’s Regulatory Petitions

Read the latest updates on eleven of the regulatory petitions we've worked on this year. With an election just ...

Public Health Groups File Petition to Compel EPA to Remove PFAS Immediately from Fluorinated Plastic Containers

Citizen Petition Urges EPA to Act on Findings of Unreasonable Risk after Court Decision Wrongly Blocks EPA Orders

Flawed Fifth Circuit Decision Leaves Public Exposed to Toxic PFAS

Environmental Groups Vow to Fight On

PEERMail | PEER Sues EPA to Uncover Toxic Health and Safety Data

One of the most important things we do is sue government agencies when they refuse to release important ...

EPA Conceals PFAS Health Info as Trade Secret

Lawsuit Demands Release of Data on PFAS in Fluorinated Containers

PEER and CEH Applaud EPA’s Decision to Protect People from PFAS that Leach from Plastic Containers

EPA Orders Inhance Technologies to Stop Exposing Millions of Americans to Dangerous PFAS in Fluorinated Plastic ...

PEERMail | A National Park Service Blunder

Reducing plastic consumption is one of the most important things we can do as a nation to fight climate change and ...

National Park Service Punts on Plastic Reduction

No Concrete Action for Years as Parks Ink New Plastic Bottle Concessions

PEERMail | An Epic Journey You Won’t Want to Miss

Bloomberg Businessweek featured an epic quest by our Science Policy Director to uncover why her town’s drinking ...

PEER and CEH Ask Court to Immediately Stop Unlawful PFAS Formation

Motion seeks to stop violations of federal law that are exposing millions of Americans to dangerous PFAS in ...

PEERMail | A Tempered Victory for Clean Air

EPA rejects a Trump-era proposal that would have lifted Clean Air Act regulations on two types of plastic recycling.

EPA Must Remove PFAS from Plastic Containers

New Analysis Demonstrates Health Risks to Millions of Americans Using Plastic Containers

COMMENTARY | Don’t Let Plastics Overtake the Earth

We are recommitting ourselves to finding ways to rapidly reduce our dependence on plastics and their impact on the ...

EPA Needs a Transparent Public Process for Inhance PFAS SNUNS

Unclear comment and review deadlines, heavy redactions, and disorganized files are blocking meaningful comments on ...

PFAS Fluorinated Container Citizens’ Suit Dismissed Without Prejudice

Groups Plan Intervention in EPA Lawsuit Against Inhance Technologies

Organizations Push to Get PFAS out of Plastic Containers

EPA must ban fluorination process that creates PFAS in plastics

COMMENTARY | EPA Asks for Comment on PFAS Data It Won’t Release

EPA is asking the public to comment on fluorination of plastics but keeping important materials, including health ...

Groups Call on EPA to Ban Plastic Fluorination that Creates PFAS

EPA Must Release Withheld Health and Safety Studies

PFAS in Plastic Containers Should Not Be Confidential

Groups Urge EPA to Inform the Public of the Presence of Unsafe PFAS in Fluorinated Containers

Tens of Millions of Plastic Containers Treated with Fluorine Gas Leach Toxic PFAS Chemicals into Art and Cleaning Supplies, Food, and Other Household Products

Nonprofit Organizations File Suit Against Inhance Technologies to Stop Violations of U.S. EPA Regulations

PEERMail | Climate Change, Plastics and Our National Parks

Together, we can make plastic-free parks a reality in #2NOT10 years!

Plastic-Free National Parks Are Needed Now

Drive Launched to Remove Plastic Bottles in Two – Not Ten –Years

Letter to Sec. Deb Haaland – Plastic Free Parks in Two Not Ten Years – 08-09-2022 (PDF) 

DESCRIPTION: Letter to Secretary Deb Haaland to move up the Department of Interior/National Park Service ...

PEERMail | Good News on Banning Plastics

The Interior Secretary announced a phaseout of single-use plastics in national parks and other public lands.

National Park Service Punts on Plastic-Free Policies

NPS Balks on Plastic Bottle Sales Ban or Restoring Superintendent Discretion

PEERMail | Plastic Free Parks Are Possible!

The National Park Service must act quickly to address the crisis of plastics in our parks, Sec. Haaland has an ...

Letter to Secretary Deb Haaland – Plastic Free Parks – 06-23-2021 (PDF) 

DESCRIPTION: Letter to Secretary Deb Haaland regarding reducing plastics in the National Parks TO: Secretary Deb ...

PETITION | Plastic Free Parks

Petition to Sec of Interior to outlaw sales of plastic water bottles in national parks, setting a green example ...

National Parks Should Go Plastic Free  

Rulemaking Petition Presses Park Service to Ban Plastic Water Bottle Sales   

How Park Ban on Plastic Bottles Got Throttled

Misstatements Masked Lack of Current Data or Consultation Except with Industry

Park Plastic Bottle Bans Work but Remain Few and Far Between

Number of Parks Ending Bottled Water Sales Has Plateaued as Industry Pushes Back

Yellowstone Struggles With Rising Tide of Plastic Waste

New Initiative to Reduce Visitor Plastic Bottle Use to Avoid Need for a Sales Ban

More National Parks Ban Plastic Bottle Sales

Plastic Bottles Are Largest Single Contributor to National Park Solid Waste Load

National Parks Not Rushing to Embrace Plastic Bottle Bans

Fewer Than 5% of National Park Units Restrict Sales of Disposable Water Bottles

Park Service Scrambles to Save Face in Plastic Bottle Fiasco

Focused Public Pressure Trumped Corporate Influence on National Park Policies

Documents Link Coke to Grand Canyon Plastic Bottle Reversal

Secret Decision to Block Single-Use Bottle Bans throughout National Park System

Things Don’t Always Go Better With Coke

Did Corporate Donation Sway Reversal of Grand Canyon Plastic Water Bottle Ban?
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