All single-use plastic to be banned from US National Parks

Woman picking up waste plastic water bottle
(Image credit: Getty)

All single-use plastic products will be banned from US National Parks within the next 10 years, the White House has announced.

Secretary's Order 3407 will not only prevent disposable water bottles and other plastic packaging being sold on National Park land, it will also focus on finding more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives such as biodegradable materials that break down harmlessly.

As Newsweek reports, Secretary's Order 3407 was announced to mark World Ocean Day, which calls on people to take action to protect waterways and tackle climate change.

According to the White House's statement, 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every single year. Once it's there, it can take hundreds of years for plastic to fully break down, and even then we're left with the problem of microplastics – tiny fragments that can get almost anywhere, and have even been found in human blood.

In an ideal world, all visitors to National Parks would stick to the rules of leave no trace when pitching camp or hiking in the wild. However, not all do, as we saw this week when staff at Zion National Park used the temporary closure of Angels Landing as an opportunity to clear litter and graffiti from the popular trail.

To help preserve the National Parks that you love, make sure you plan ahead and prepare everything that you'll need in advance, take all your waste away with you, and be respectful and considerate of both other people and wildlife.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.