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Published on : Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Another regressive step from the Trump administration which has reversed the ban on the sale of bottled water at national parks which was imposed during the Obama-era. It had helped to cut down on plastic litter and pollution and promote responsible tourism.
The aim of this 2011 environmental policy was to end the sale of bottled water and encourage visitors to use tap water and bring refillable bottles instead, NPR reported. Although it was not exactly a ban but 23 out of 417 national parks instituted restrictions on the sale of bottled water – the most important ones being Grand Canyon National Park and Zion National Park.
Critics of the measure, however said that the healthiest beverage choice from parks were removed and forced the tourists to have the sugary drinks. But, rather than also prohibit the sale of sugary beverages, the park service has opted to end the six-year-old bottled water restriction.
Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds said in a statement that, “While we will continue to encourage the use of free water bottle filling stations as appropriate, ultimately it should be up to our visitors to decide how best to keep themselves and their families hydrated during a visit to a national park.”
The environmental enthusiasts have seen the ban reversal as a significant setback for environmental efforts. That policy “was a win-win for everyone except the bottled water industry, which is only interested in its bottom line,” said Lauren DeRusha Florez, campaign director for Corporate Accountability International, a group that campaigns against corporate abuses.
Plastic bottles remain a significant environmental problem around the world. Figures show that about one million plastic bottles are consumed per minute or roughly 20,000 per second worldwide and its high time the environmental steps should be taken care of as it could cause serious problems without the recycling efforts.