Plastic Free Parks

Bottle Filling station, Grand Canyon | NPS Photo

Bottle Filling station, Grand Canyon | NPS Photo

Our national parks are drowning in a rising tide of plastic waste. Single-use disposable plastic bottles are the single biggest component of national park waste streams. They are damaging human health and our environment with disproportionate impacts on low-income and communities of color.

Mountains of plastic bottles burden wildlife, create greenhouse gases, and cost taxpayers to haul away. As crowds return to record levels following the pandemic, a tsunami of plastic waste will again swamp our parks.

Some major parks, like Grand Canyon, went bottle-free after building water “filling stations.” But the International Bottled Water Association snuffed this nascent bottle-free movement out. They successfully lobbied the Trump administration to bar any park superintendent from restricting the sale of plastic water bottles – no exceptions.

This industry-sponsored restriction should not only be rescinded but also completely reversed by eliminating the sale of plastic water bottles in all parks. By ensuring there are adequate sources of free potable water available for park visitors and outlawing sales of plastic water bottles at all national parks, we can cut discarded plastics by 75%. Our national parks can set a “green” example and encourage all public lands and the planet take a break from plastic.

Reigniting the Ban on Single Use Plastic Bottles

What do Plastic Free Parks Look Like?

No sales of single use plastic water bottles in any national park.

75% reduction in discarded plastic waste in parks.

Free potable water is readily available for park visitors;

Less damage to ecosystems and wildlife from improperly discarded plastics;

The National Park Service sets a “green” model for state, municipal and international parks.


National Park Service Punts on Plastic-Free Policies

NPS Balks on Plastic Bottle Sales Ban or Restoring Superintendent Discretion

PEERMail | Plastic Free Parks Are Possible!

The National Park Service must act quickly to address the crisis of plastics in our parks, Sec. Haaland has an ...

Letter to Secretary Deb Haaland – Plastic Free Parks – 06-23-2021 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Letter to Secretary Deb Haaland regarding reducing plastics in the National Parks TO: Secretary Deb ...

National Parks Should Go Plastic Free

Rulemaking Petition Presses Park Service to Ban Plastic Water Bottle Sales

How Park Ban on Plastic Bottles Got Throttled

Misstatements Masked Lack of Current Data or Consultation Except with Industry

Park Plastic Bottle Bans Work but Remain Few and Far Between

Number of Parks Ending Bottled Water Sales Has Plateaued as Industry Pushes Back

Yellowstone Struggles With Rising Tide of Plastic Waste

New Initiative to Reduce Visitor Plastic Bottle Use to Avoid Need for a Sales Ban

More National Parks Ban Plastic Bottle Sales

Plastic Bottles Are Largest Single Contributor to National Park Solid Waste Load

National Parks Not Rushing to Embrace Plastic Bottle Bans

Fewer Than 5% of National Park Units Restrict Sales of Disposable Water Bottles

Park Service Scrambles to Save Face in Plastic Bottle Fiasco

Focused Public Pressure Trumped Corporate Influence on National Park Policies

Documents Link Coke to Grand Canyon Plastic Bottle Reversal

Secret Decision to Block Single-Use Bottle Bans throughout National Park System

Things Don’t Always Go Better With Coke

Did Corporate Donation Sway Reversal of Grand Canyon Plastic Water Bottle Ban?