Activists Call Foul on Trump's Park Service Plastic Bottle Ban Reversal

Here's how you can join the fight to ban the bottle in national parks right now.

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Aug 18 2017, 8:30pm

Photos via Wikimedia Commons, design by Aaron Barksdale

The Trump administration has announced yet another regressive move on the environment. In a statement issued by spokesperson Jeremy Barnum, the National Park Service (NPS) said that it will no longer allow for parks under its jurisdiction to ban the sale of plastic water bottles -- items which all too frequently don't end up in recycling bins, but instead litter waterways and forests. (Weirdly enough, this week the NPS also put out a statement committing the NPS to safeguarding confederate memorials in light of the violence in Charlottesville, VA).

The water bottle move will effectively discontinue what's known as the "water bottle ban," and according to Barnum's statement will "expand hydration options for recreationalists, hikers, and other visitors to national parks."

Over two dozen National Park Service sites had embraced the ban and the move by the Trump administration is being met with public outcry online.

The announcement appears to be a direct rebuke of a part of the National Park Service's Green Parks Plan which publicly committed the federal agency to banning disposable plastic bottles from national parks back in 2011 during the Obama presidency.

At first glance, the water bottle switcheroo seems like a bit of a random move, but advocates are crying foul that is a direct result of aggressive corporate lobbying by the International Bottled Water Association and pro-bottled water groups. Indeed, a spokeswoman for the International Bottled Water Association praised the repeal of the bottle ban describing the existing policy as "seriously flawed."

Over two dozen National Park Service sites had embraced the ban and the move by the Trump administration is being met with public outcry online.

According to Lauren DeRusha Florez, associate campaign director for advocacy group Corporate Accountability International, the move makes perfect sense when you follow the money.


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"[The Green Parks Plan] was a win-win for everyone except the bottled water industry, which is only interested in its bottom line. There's only one reason to do this: bottled water industry profits."

In response to the move, Corporate Accountability International put out a call to action calling on National Park Service officials to keep adhering to the water ban policy.

If moving towards a livable planet is your thing, when it comes to bottled water the best thing to do is simply "say no." Invest in a reusable water bottle and limit your consumption of disposable beverages in any form--that includes boxed drinks and glass bottles.