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Great News for World Ocean Day! Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland Announces Phase-Out of Single-Use Plastics on Public Lands, Waters

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland celebrated World Ocean Day by announcing a major step in the battle to save our ocean and coast from the ongoing plastic pollution crisis. Secretary’s Order 3407 directs the Department of the Interior (DOI) to reduce the sale and distribution of single-use plastic products and packaging with a goal of phasing out single-use plastic products on Department-managed lands by 2032. This encompasses all national parks, monuments, sanctuaries, other federal lands and DOI offices. 

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

Surfrider and partner organizations have advocated for the elimination of single-use plastics in our National Parks and created a Presidential Plastics Action Plan identifying eight executive actions that can be taken by the federal executive branch to reduce single-use plastic pollution and address the harms of the entire plastics lifecycle. While 10 years is a long-timeline, we applaud the commitment to total reduction – and will work to ensure the order’s timely implementation. 

The Secretary’s Order, which can be found in full here, is part of the implementation of President Biden’s Executive Order 14057, which calls for federal agencies to minimize waste and support markets for recycled products.