Grand Canyon to eliminate sale of disposable plastic bottles
Following three months of delay, the Grand Canyon National Park eliminated the sale of plastic bottles within the park on Feb. 6 in order to reduce waste within the park.
The plan was originally postponed in November due to a lack of proper planning and conflicts with previously existing concession contracts, according to National Park Services (NPS) spokesman David Barna, who The Lumberjack spoke with in November. However, with proper preparation, the plan was resubmitted and approved in accordance with a recent policy.
A press release from the NPS said the new policy directs parks to implement a recycling program for all plastic bottles and are given the option to eliminate all in-park sales of disposable plastic bottles with the approval of the parks director and an analysis of future costs.
Over 20 percent of the Grand Canyon’s waste can be contributed to plastic bottles. In an attempt to reduce this, the ban will eliminate the sale of water packaged in individual containers of less than one gallon.
In order to meet the needs resulting from the ban, free water stations are available through the park for visitors to refill reusable water bottles.
NPS Intermountain Regional Director John Wessels said in a press release he is optimistic of other parks following the Grand Canyon’s example.
“Our parks should set the standard for resource protection and sustainability,” Wessels said. “Grand Canyon National Park has provided an excellent analysis of the impacts the elimination of bottled water would have and has developed a well-thought out plan for ensuring that the safety, needs and comfort of visitors continue to be met in the park.”