FEBRUARY 2012

Grand Canyon plastic bottle ban gets green light despite opposition

A new National Park Service (NPS) policy may lead the way for plastic bottle bans in all national parks. This announcement came after nearly 100,000 people across the country joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling on the National Park Service to ban plastic water bottles following the park’s decision to cancel implementation amid charges of corporate influence from Coca Cola.

Stiv Wilson, who started the campaign on Change.org signed by almost 100,000 people, said, “While it is commendable that the National Park Service has decided not to completely cow to Coca-Cola on a plastic bottle ban, the new policy is still troubling.

“Unfortunately, the new directive, which allows park superintendents to implement bottle bans in their jurisdiction, may not result in changes best for our national parks. If the barriers to implementation of bottle bans are too cost-prohibitive or onerous for the superintendents to act, then we’ve only witnessed a bait and switch.

Stiv Wilson launched the campaign on Change.org after learning of allegations that the National Park Service nixed its long-planned ban on plastic water bottles in the Grand Canyon due to a last-minute lobbying effort by Coca-Cola, a major national park donor actively opposed to bottled water bans. Wilson worked as a journalist before dedicating his life to reducing plastic pollution and joining the staff of 5 Gyres, a nonprofit focused on plastic pollution.