After months of controversy, bottled water is now officially banned from the Grand Canyon National Park.
Every year over $400,000 worth of bottled water is sold in the park. Stephen Martin, the recently retired parks official who introduced the idea of a ban in the Grand Canyon, said that bottles are "the single biggest source of trash" found inside the park. It’s estimated they make up 30% of the waste stream.
In anticipation of the bottled water ban, the park spent $300,000 to install refilling water fountains for reusable water bottles.
But last November it was revealed that plans for a bottled water ban were stopped just weeks before implementation. Despite claims from park officials that the decision wasn’t influenced by major donor and bottled water distributor, Coca Cola, emails surfaced shortly afterwards that told a different tale.
The aftermath of media and public disapproval, in addition to a successful online petition, led to park officials’ concessions of future bottle bans, and just recently, to the announcement that a ban WILL be implemented in the Grand Canyon. According to media reports, this will take place in 30 days.
Zion National Park has had a similar bottled water ban in place since 2008.