Interior Department Recognized for Efforts to Phase Out Single-Use Plastics Across Public Lands, Build Climate Resilience

Last edited 06/25/2024

Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2024

WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today was awarded a Presidential Federal Sustainability Award for ongoing efforts to phase out single-use plastics on Department-managed lands and received a recognition for work to strengthen climate resilience through public-private partnerships. Acting Deputy Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis joined a ceremony at the White House to accept the awards on behalf of the Department and to celebrate employees working to advance these initiatives. 

"Across our bureaus and public lands, Interior Department employees are moving quickly to implement President Biden and Secretary Haaland’s directives to phase out single-use plastics and make communities more climate resilient,” said Acting Deputy Secretary Daniel-Davis. “Collectively, these efforts will have impacts for decades to come, helping protect the ecosystems that we depend on, and equipping communities with the tools and resources necessary to adapt to a changing climate.” 

In June 2022, Secretary Deb Haaland issued Secretary’s Order (S.O.) 3407 to reduce the procurement, 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. S.O. 3407 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. Since the signing of the S.O., Department facilities across the nation, including national parks, national wildlife refuges and conservation lands, have made progress with key efforts that include: installing water bottle filling stations, increasing recycling, and working with concessionaires to reduce sales of single-use plastic bottles, as well as use of plastic utensils, bags, straws and other plastic products. In September 2023, the Department announced that all bureaus and offices have finalized sustainable procurement plans to phase out single-use plastics on public lands within the next decade. 

The Department today was also recognized for its efforts to strengthen climate resilience through public-private partnerships, particularly through the Rogue Forest Partnership (RFP), which brings together federal and state agencies and nonprofit organizations with a goal of reducing wildfire risk by 70 percent across a span of 4.6 million acres of public and private lands in the Rogue River Basin in Oregon. With funding from President’s Biden Investing in America agenda, the RFP is working to increase the resilience of the forestlands within the Basin through controlled burns and ecological thinning by reducing forest density and lowering wildfire risks to communities and old-growth habitats, while helping create good-paying local jobs.  

With historic investments from the Investing in America agenda, the Department is delivering historic resources to make communities more resilient to climate change. Combined, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act represent the largest investments in climate resilience in the nation’s history and provide unprecedented resources to support the Biden Harris administration’s comprehensive, all-of-government approach.  

The Presidential Federal Sustainability Awards Program, launched in March 2023, celebrates the extraordinary leadership, innovation and achievement of federal agencies and their employees toward the President's charge for federal climate action and the ambitious sustainability goals established in the Federal Sustainability Plan and Executive Order 14057. Federal programs, projects, project teams, facilities and individuals are eligible for nomination by their agency. 

For more information on Interior’s implementation of proactive sustainable and environmental practices, visit the Department’s Sustainability webpage


Was this page helpful?

Please provide a comment