DCNR taking steps to reduce plastics, waste at PA state parks, Presque Isle

Western PA News

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HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) wants to clean up Presque Isle and other state parks in the commonwealth.

On Thursday, Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced that the DCNR is taking steps to reduce the use of plastics and amount of waste generated from food concessions that litter Pennsylvania state parks.

As contracts with food providers are renewed, the use of plastic bags, straws, and cutlery will no longer be allowed. These items will instead 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.”

Language in the vendors’ contract also requires food providers to minimize the use of paper straws and disposable utensils and work with DCNR to convert as many of their food service products and the wasted food itself to compostable alternatives when on-site composting is available.

As of this year, the new measures are in place at Presque Isle, along with Beltzville, Frances Slocum, Keystone, Marsh Creek 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.

For more information about the department’s sustainability practices, click HERE.

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