HomeSouth CarolinaSouth Carolina State Parks to ban single-use plastic bottles, bags

South Carolina State Parks to ban single-use plastic bottles, bags

South Carolina – South Carolina State Park Services is taking steps toward environmental conservation by reducing plastic use. The organization has begun phasing out single-use plastic water bottles and plastic shopping bags at its park retail stores across the state. Instead, they are introducing paper bags and offering water in recyclable aluminum bottles. This change is based on suggestions and research from park rangers and staff who are looking for better, sustainable ways to cater to park visitors.

“Plastics are a prolific problem for our wildlife, rivers, and oceans, and it’s always disheartening to see plastic litter in state parks – whether it’s in a parking lot or miles down a wooded trail,” said South Carolina State Parks Director, Paul McCormack in a release.

“A single-use plastic water bottle may quench your thirst for an hour or two, but if it’s not properly recycled, it will take hundreds of years to break down. Our swap to easily recyclable aluminum water bottles and paper bags will help reduce plastic waste in our parks. It will also help us raise awareness with our visitors about how small, intentional swaps in our everyday life can add up to a big impact,” McCormack added.

In the next few months, all state park retail outlets will completely transition away from single-use plastic bottles and bags. Additionally, the State Park has partnered with Duke Energy to set up water bottle refilling stations in 25 parks located in Duke Energy Carolinas areas. Each station will be equipped with dual water fountains, a bottle refilling feature, and a lower fountain for pets, located at popular visiting spots or trail entrances.

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“South Carolina leaders are putting a strategic focus on the preservation and conservation of the natural spaces that make South Carolina’s cultural and environmental heritage unique,” said South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Director, Duane Parrish in a release.

“Since the gates of the first State Parks opened in the 1930s, we’ve been dedicated to protecting and sharing some of South Carolina’s most treasured places – and working to ensure they are around for generations to come. The 2024 Earth Day theme, ‘Planet v. Plastic,’ highlights just how important and timely this operational change is to our natural world. I’m proud of team members who identified this problem and proposed the solution that is rolling out around the state.”

Read also: New investigative team to address unclaimed $1.8 billion at South Carolina State House

South Carolina State Parks that will install water bottle filling stations in the coming months thanks to the 2024 Duke Energy Foundation grant are:

  • Andrew Jackson State Park*
  • Baker Creek State Park*
  • Battle of Musgrove Mill State Historic Site
  • Caesars Head State Park*
  • Calhoun Falls State Park
  • Chester State Park*
  • Croft State Park
  • Devils Fork State Park
  • Dreher Island State Park*
  • Hamilton Branch State Park*
  • Hickory Knob State Resort Park*
  • Jones Gap State Park*
  • Keowee-Toxaway State Park
  • Kings Mountain State Park
  • Lake Greenwood State Park*
  • Lake Hartwell State Park*
  • Lake Wateree State Park*
  • Landsford Canal State Park*
  • Oconee State Park*
  • Oconee Station State Historic Site
  • Paris Mountain State Park*
  • Rose Hill State Historic Site
  • Sadlers Creek State Park
  • Table Rock State Park

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