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DCNR Taking Steps to Reduce Plastics, Waste at PA State Parks

11/04/2021

​Harrisburg, PA -- Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today announced that the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is taking steps to reduce the use of plastics and amount of waste generated from food concessions at Pennsylvania state parks.

As contracts with food providers are renewed, new provisions prevent the use of plastic bags, straws, and cutlery. These items are to be replaced with compostable, paper, wooden or plant fiber alternatives.

“As the state’s conservation leader, DCNR strives to model practices that conserve and sustain our natural resources, and we are now extending that to the concessions that provide snacks at our state parks,” Dunn said. “This step will help to reduce the emissions generated through plastic production and eliminate the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills.

”New contract language also requires food providers to minimize the use of paper straws and disposable utensils, and when on-site composting is available at a state park to work with DCNR to convert as many of their food service products to compostable, paper-based forest product alternatives and compost them and food waste.

The new measures as of this year are in place at Beltzville, Frances Slocum, Keystone, Marsh Creek, Presque Isle, and Sizerville state parks. The contracts that will be updated in 2022 are Bald Eagle, Black Moshannon, Caledonia, Codorus, Gifford Pinchot, Hickory Run, Locust Lake, Mt. Pisgah, Pine Grove Furnace, Point, Prince Gallitzin, Ricketts Glen, and Yellow Creek state parks.

As future contracts expire, they will be updated with the new requirements.

DCNR’s waste reduction efforts are in line with the Wolf Administration’s focus on addressing litter across the commonwealth. The department also encourages visitors to Leave No Trace when visiting parks and forests, which includes proper waste disposal.

The secretary’s announcement is a part of DCNR’s 2021 Sustainability Tour, which also included an announcement that new solar arrays will take Presque Isle State Park to net zero energy; a demonstration of battery-powered and efficient chain saws, string trimmers, and leaf blowers now in place at 20 state parks; and a streamside forest buffer planting at Knouse Foods Cooperative in Adams County.

For more information about the department’s sustainability practices visit DCNR’s website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Wesley Robinson, 717-877-6315

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