Good news! Disposable plastic water bottles soon won’t be sold at the Grand Canyon.
Late last year, I wrote here about how Jon Jarvis, the National Park Director, blocked a proposed single-use plastic water ban. The idea for the ban had emerged after park superintendents completed an analysis of the park’s waste stream and found that plastic water bottles accounted for 30% and was the single largest item littered in the Grand Canyon itself.
However, in yet another example of corporate interests dictating policy, Coca-Cola, which distributes water under the Dasani brand and is a major donor to the National Park Foundation, objected to the plan, and it was withdrawn.
But on Monday, February 6, the National Park Service announced that it had changed its mind. The Service has now approved a plan to eliminate the sale of the bottles within 30 days.
Since Americans buy an estimated 28 billion plastic water bottles every year, and nearly eight out of every 10 of those bottles will end up in a landfill, translating to about a 23 percent recycling rate, this is great news.
Visitors can fill up reusable containers at water stations, though the ban doesn’t keep them from bringing disposable bottles into the park.
Who knows what went on behind the scenes? But both the National Park Service and Coca-Cola deny that the Coca-Cola Company had any influence on the Park Service.
Hooray for some good sense and some good news!
Photo Credit: istock