|Tell Congress: Stop bottled water companies from polluting our national parks|
â€œDiscarded water bottles are the single largest source of waste on public lands. Do not prohibit our national parks from implementing necessary restrictions on bottled water sales on park lands.â€
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Disposable plastic water bottles are single the biggest source of trash and pollution in our national parks.1 Thatâ€™s why in 2011 the National Park Service gave national parks the ability to ban sales of commercially bottled water from wasteful, disposable plastic bottles, instead encouraging park visitors to use refillable water bottles for hydration.
But the ability of national parks to implement this commonsense and environmentally sustainable policy may soon come to an end. After intense pressure and lobbying from giant water bottling companies like Coca-Cola and Nestle, Republicans in Congress slipped in a last minute amendment into its parks funding bill that prohibits national parks from banning disposable bottled water.2
This is a stunning giveaway to the bottled water industry at the expense of our national parks, and we need to stop it. Tell Congress to strip this terrible idea out before it passes this yearâ€™s national parks funding bill.
Today, Americans discard over 50 billion plastic water bottles per year, which consumes 20 billion barrels of oil and releases 25 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The National Park Service estimated that reducing bottled water could eliminate 6,000 tons of carbon emissions and 8 million kilowatt hours of electricity every year.3, 4
After the decision to allow parks to ban the sale of disposable bottled water and instead make refilling stations widely available to visitors, the new program was rapidly adopted by some of the most iconic and cherished national parks across the country. By 2014, nearly two dozen national parks had implemented it, including the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore. 5 Zion National Park reported that it eliminated over 60,000 disposable bottles â€“ 5,000 pounds of plastic â€“ every year.
But last month, after a lobbying campaign from Big Water brands like Deer Park, Fiji, and Evian that totaled over half a million dollars since 2011, Republican Rep. Keith Rothfus snuck a last-minute amendment into Congressâ€™s appropriations bill, blocking the National Park Service from funding or enforcing the program.
National Parks were created to preserve some of this countryâ€™s most beautiful outdoor areas for the enjoyment of Americans â€“ not to boost the profits of corporations. We canâ€™t allow members of Congress to overturn sound public policies and sell out our national parks to the bottled water industry. Tell Congress to drop this horrible idea and quit playing politics with our national parks.
Thank you for your activism.
Josh Nelson, Campaign Manager
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