How we can get the government to tackle its plastic impact

As a major consumer of plastic, the U.S. federal government can play a role in protecting the planet by decreasing its plastic footprint.

Beyond plastic

Gary Todd via Flickr | Public Domain

Take Action

Plastic pollution is endangering wildlife and the environment around the world. Less than 10% of all plastic ever produced has been recycled — the rest will stick around for centuries in our landfills, oceans, waterways and other wild spaces.

It’s clear we have to do everything we can to stop the flood of these throwaway items into our natural spaces, including commitments from major plastics buyers to stop using so much of the stuff in the first place.

From now until Sept. 27, the Biden administration is accepting public comments on a rule change that would slash the amount of single-use plastic bought by the federal government. 

What can the government do on plastic?

The U.S. government is the single largest consumer of goods and services in the world, and wasteful single-use plastic packaging is used in a variety of its operations, from construction and concession contracts to the maintenance of its facilities.

Eliminating this massive source of plastic pollution would have an immediate impact on our wildlife and our open spaces. But it would also be a landmark step toward even bigger change in the future.

That’s because, as you and I well know, it’s not just the government that’s awash with single-use plastic “stuff” — it’s our grocery stores, our restaurants, our online shopping platforms. To build a future where we truly put our environment and our wildlife over plastic waste, we need to tackle those sources of plastic pollution, too.

This commitment from the federal government could be just the spark we need to move more of our society beyond single-use plastic. 

How we can win action

Earlier this summer, after thousands of environmental advocates like you stood up to get single-use plastics out of our nation’s national parks, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland issued an order to phase out single-use plastic products on lands managed by the Department of the Interior by 2032.

Now, the Biden administration’s most recent proposal to slash plastic pollution is a great chance to build on this momentum.

The administration is accepting public comments until Sept. 27. Add your name today to help make this proposed rule a reality and protect our wildlife from plastic pollution.


Steve Blackledge

Senior Director, Conservation America Campaign, Environment America

Steve directs Environment America’s efforts to protect our public lands and waters and the species that depend on them. He led our successful campaign to win full and permanent funding for our nation’s best conservation and recreation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He previously oversaw U.S. PIRG’s public health campaigns. Steve lives in Sacramento, California, with his family, where he enjoys biking and exploring Northern California.

Find Out More