Biden admin sidesteps single-use plastic packaging ban

By Ellie Borst | 06/06/2024 04:37 PM EDT

Though the General Services Administration hailed the rule for reducing waste, environmentalists were pushing for mandatory restrictions.

General Services Administration headquarters in Washington.

General Services Administration headquarters in Washington. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The Biden administration is touting a new rule as a means to reduce waste generation, but advocates counter that the government squandered an opportunity to clamp down on single-use plastics.

According to a General Services Administration rule finalized Thursday, products without any single-use plastic packaging on the federal government’s purchasing system will soon be marked with a single icon.

The icon is intended to encourage federal agency buyers to phase out use of single-use plastics, which “will reduce the Government’s waste generation, and potentially save industry partners money by having them reduce unnecessary packaging,” the rule says. The rule takes effect July 8.


It’s a letdown for environmental advocates who had high hopes that GSA, nicknamed the “government’s landlord,” would implement mandatory restrictions.