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U.S. to phase out single-use plastics on public land by 2032

The U.S. Department of the Interior will ban the sale of single-use plastics from national parks and other public land, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced Wednesday. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/de6003b6528d2d07da5d62d9009f81cd/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The U.S. Department of the Interior will ban the sale of single-use plastics from national parks and other public land, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced Wednesday. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

June 8 (UPI) -- It could be the last straw for single-use plastics, after the U.S. Department of the Interior said Wednesday it will ban the sale of single-use plastics on public land by the year 2032.

The department will gradually phase out the plastics in places like national parks and other public land, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said in an announcement timed to coincide with World Ocean Day.

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Common single-use plastics include plastic or polystyrene food and beverage containers, straws, cups, cutlery and disposable plastic bags.

Haaland's order also directs the department to "identify non-hazardous, environmentally preferable alternatives to single-use plastic products, such as compostable or biodegradable materials, or 100% recycled materials."

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The move is part of President Joe Biden's executive order that instructs federal agencies to minimize waste and support markets for recycled products.

"The Interior Department has an obligation to play a leading role in reducing the impact of plastic waste on our ecosystems and our climate," Haaland said in a statement.

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"As the steward of the nation's public lands, including national parks and national wildlife refuges, and as the agency responsible for the conservation and management of fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats, we are uniquely positioned to do better for our Earth.

"Today's order will ensure that the department's sustainability plans include bold action on phasing out single-use plastic products as we seek to protect our natural environment and the communities around them."

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Other jurisdictions have moved in similar directions. In 2018, the European Parliament adopted a plan to ban single-use plastics by 2021.

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