Since 2011, we have been talking about the National Park Service’s efforts to reduce waste, cut trash removal costs, and encourage the use of refillable bottles on federal lands. Twenty-three of the 417 sites, including the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Mount Rushmore, decided to outright prohibit the sale of disposable water bottles in shops, hotels and vending machines.
That all came to a screeching halt this week, as the NPS announced that, effective immediately, it will no longer allow water bottle bans at its parks.
Opponents, which (not surprisingly) included powerful industry groups, claimed the initiative never achieved its desired benefits and didn’t address the sale of bottled juice and soda.
However, supporters disagree and say that parks that initiated bans added to the number of water-filling stations for reusable bottles to increase access to free tap water, and reduced park waste, according to the Wilderness Society. They do acknowledge that a ban on all bottled beverages would make sense, but for now it seems all bans are off the table. We think that’s a giant step backwards.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below. And if you’d like to read up on this, check out these two blogs: