Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Grand Canyon Bans Plastic Water Bottle Sales

The National Park Service will ban the sale of plastic water bottles within Grand Canyon National Park. The ban comes more than a year after the initial decision was made. It was held up because Coca-Cola raised concerns about the ban.

The new restrictions take effect within 30 days, and are similar to those of Utah's Zion National Park, which launched a similar program in 2008. Also Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which offers water stations and encourages visitors to bring their own bottles or buy a stainless steel reusable bottle at the Kilauea Visitors Center.

The plastic bottles account for some 30% of the Grand Canyon's total waste. A park official said bottles were the single biggest source of trash found inside the canyon. The Grand Canyon has installed 10 water filling stations on the South Rim and three on the North Rim, and some of the park's concessionaires have installed similar facilities at hotels or restaurants. The new policy applies only to bottled water. Retail outlets within the park can still sell soda and juice in plastic bottles, and visitors can still bring plastic bottles into the park.

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