Tell Secretary Haaland: Kick single-use plastics out of our parks

Tell Secretary Haaland: Kick single-use plastics out of our parks

Single-use plastics don’t belong in our national parks.


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Plastic harms our most precious wild places.

You just hiked miles and miles through Grand Canyon National Park, descending past layers of golden, majestic rock. You finally reach the bottom of the canyon and pop your hiking boots off to cool your toes in the Colorado River. Something hits your foot — you look down and see a plastic bottle floating downstream, with more piled up on the shore.

The National Park Service (NPS) manages and protects over 85 million acres of our most treasured land. That’s why we’re calling on Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to protect these wondrous spaces by eliminating the sale and distribution of single-use plastics in our national parks, forests and monuments.

It’s time to kick single-use plastics out of our parks.

Plastic harms everything in our nation’s parks from precious wildlife to lakes and streams.1 Researchers in Yellowstone National Park just found plastic in the stomachs of fish and crustaceans in the park’s pristine, remote lake.2 Our shared plastic impact reaches well beyond the recycling bin.

The National Park Service and park vendors manage over 140 million pounds of waste each year — but under the Trump administration, they nixed efforts to restrict single-use plastic sales.3

It’s time to kick single-use plastics out of our parks for good.

Take action to protect our wild places from plastic.

These single-use plastics are built to last forever — but they’re designed to be thrown away. Yosemite, the Rocky Mountains and all our national wonders have stood for eons as breathtaking examples of nature’s wonder — we can’t let today’s plastics decimate the future of these legendary places.

Plastics take hundreds of years to decompose, so we need to take a stand now to save our parks for centuries to come.4 With 91 percent of plastics not recycled, they generate an enormous amount of waste each year.5 Secretary Haaland has the power to keep this waste out of our national parks and move our treasured spaces into a greener, safer future.

Add your voice to protect our wild places from plastic pollution today.

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  1. Janice Brahney, “Plastic Rain in Protected Areas of the United States,” Science, June 12, 2020.
  2. Brett French, “Microplastics detected in 3 Yellowstone Lake species,” The Spokesman Review, June 25, 2021.
  3. National Park Service Ends Effort to Eliminate Sale of Disposable Water Bottles,” National Park Service, August 16, 2017.
  4. Banning Single-Use Plastics: Protecting Our Health and Oceans,” Environment America, February 20, 2020.
  5. Laura Parker, “A whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled,” National Geographic, December 20, 2018.