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A Voice for our Ocean

STATEMENT: Ban on single-use plastics in National Parks a victory for our ocean

We cannot afford to wait ten years to celebrate

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, as part of a suite of commitments released by the White House in honor of World Ocean Day, the Department of the Interior announced an order to reduce and eventually phase out the sale of single-use plastic products in national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands by 2032. Ocean Conservancy was among the NGOs who urged the Biden Administration to take action on this issue in 2021, and more than 10,000 Ocean Conservancy supporters had pledged to contact their representatives. Nicholas Mallos, senior director of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas® Program, issued the following statement in response:

“National parks are not only America’s greatest natural treasures; they are formative educational settings for generations of environmental stewards. Yesterday’s announcement from Interior Secretary Deb Haaland phasing out the sale of single-use plastic products from 480 million acres of federally managed lands over the next decade ensures that they will continue to set the example for conservation. 

“Moreover, this announcement is a huge win for our ocean. Since 1986, volunteers with Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup have collected over 130 million pieces of trash from beaches and waterways across the United States, the majority of which are single-use plastic foodware items currently sold on public lands, like bottles, cutlery, and food wrappers. And we know that trash travels: a lightweight plastic wrapper lost in Yellowstone can travel hundreds of miles via river or waterway before eventually winding up in our ocean. 

“At the same time, with over 11 million metric tons of plastic entering our ocean each year and plastic production expected to triple by 2060, we cannot afford to wait ten years. Ocean Conservancy is excited that the Department of the Interior has taken this step and looks forward to working together to help ensure a swift phase-out of plastics in our parks.”


About Ocean Conservancy

Ocean Conservancy is working with you to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together, we create evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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Trash Free Seas

We’re working on innovative solutions to reduce the amount of trash that ends up in our ocean, threatening ocean wildlife through ingestion and entanglement.

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