Effort to ban plastic water bottles in national parks would end under budget deal
Effort to ban plastic water bottles in national parks would end under budget deal.
At the behest of the International Bottled Water Association, Congress is preparing to approve a must-pass budget bill that includes language aimed at restoring the sale of water in disposable plastic bottles in all national parks.
For nearly six years, national parks have had the option of banning bottled-water sales as a way to reduce plastic litter and waste management costs.
From Cape Hatteras to the Grand Canyon, more than 20 park units have instituted the ban after first installing public drinking-water stations for visitors carrying reusable bottles.
For the last three years, the bottled-water industry has lobbied Congress to help overturn the ban.
In 2015, Congress added a rider to a budget bill instructing the National Park Service not to expend any federal funds on the bottled-water ban.
Last year, Congress ordered the National Park Service to produce a report justifying why some parks had continued with the ban.
She and other advocates argue that many hikers and other visitors to national parks won’t opt for sodas if they can easily fill up containers – for free – from water stations.
In 2016, Calvert was a top recipient of campaign contributions from the bottled water industry, receiving $10,000, and those donations became an issue in his re-election campaign.
Calvert couldn’t be reached immediately for comment, but during his campaign last year he said his legislative action stemmed from “concerns with the park service policy that allows the sale of bottled soft drinks but bans the sale of bottled water.”