WASHINGTON --- On Friday, Rep. Mike Quigley introduced a bill into the House of Representatives that aims to ban single-use plastic serviceware from national parks in the United States. The bill -- known as the Reducing Waste in National Parks Act -- specifically targets plastic bottles, utensils, straws and packaging.
The U.S. National Parks Service (NPS) manages an average of nearly 70 million pounds of waste annually. In Yellowstone National Park, plastic water bottles alone represent half of the park’s waste. Four out of five surveyed visitors said that they would support banning single-use plastic bottles in parks.
Environment America Oceans Associate Elizabeth DiSanto said:
“Our national parks protect incredible natural beauty, from towering trees at Redwood National Park to the geysers at Yellowstone. The wildlife that make their homes in our parks such as grizzly bears, prairie dogs and pelicans can be seriously harmed by eating or drinking plastic. Plastic simply doesn’t belong in these special places. We need legislation like the Reducing Waste in National Parks Act to keep plastics out of our parks.”
U.S. PIRG Zero Waste Associate Juliana Clejan issued the following statement in response:
"We cannot safeguard our most protected lands from plastic pollution until we get rid of the threat posed by single-use plastics. It's time to take action to end the sale of the most harmful and pervasive products infiltrating our national parks."