Plastic Free Parks Are Possible!
PEER has teamed up with Beyond Plastics and Green Latinos to submit a proposed rule-making to the Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland that would direct the National Park Service to:
- Outlaw sales of plastic water bottles at all national parks;
- Cut plastics discarded in parks by 75%;
- Ensure that there are adequate sources of free potable water available for park visitors; and
- Manage our parks to set a “green” example.
We have also launched a public sign-on petition to gain further support for this effort.
The proposed rule would be a step forward in President Biden’s efforts to address climate change and move toward environmental justice. The Energy Information Agency estimates that petrochemicals, including plastics, make up 14 percent of oil use, and are expected to drive half of oil demand growth between now and 2050. In addition, discarded single-use plastic water bottles are swamping our national parks. These plastic discards are the single biggest component of park waste.
To make matters worse, much of the world’s plastic waste ends up in the oceans — eleven million metric tons by latest count, an amount that will triple by 2040 on the current trajectory. Plastic in the ocean harms marine life, damages habitats, and slowly degrades into microscopic particles that enter the food chain, threatening ecosystems that are already under extreme pressure from climate change.
The National Park Service must act quickly to address the crisis of plastics in our parks. We hope you will help us in this effort by signing the petition here and sharing it with your friends and colleagues.
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