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Environment

South Dakota sites included in federal agency's phase-out of single-use plastics

Mount_Rushmore.jpg
National Park Service
The Department of Interior is phasing out single-use plastics by 2032 on land it manages, including National Park Service sites like the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

A federal department's decision to eliminate single-use plastics will affect a number of South Dakota sites.

The Department of Interior recently announced its goal to phase out single-use plastics by 2032 on land the department manages. In South Dakota, that includes National Park Service sites such as Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument. The Department of Interior also oversees the Bureau of Land Management, which controls 274,000 acres in South Dakota.

A representative of the bureau's South Dakota office said there has been no guidance or strategy yet from the Interior Department on how the order will be carried out.

The announcement came on World Ocean Day earlier this month. The goal stems from President Joe Biden’s executive order directing federal agencies to minimize waste and support markets for recycled products. Over 300 nonprofits, businesses and organizations sent a letter to the Interior Department calling for the single-use plastics ban.

The department didn't respond to inquiries about how the new policy will be implemented.

Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland said in a press release that the order will ensure the department’s sustainability plans protect the natural environment.

Alison Heis of the National Parks Conservation Association said the group supports the change.

The order targets not only national parks, but all department-managed lands, which includes over 70 percent of federal public lands.