Grand Canyon National Park Eliminates Disposable Plastic Bottled Water

Grand Canyon National Park Eliminates Disposable Plastic Bottled Water

Installs Water Bottle Filling Stations
February 6, 2012-National Park Service -- The National Park Service announced today that Grand Canyon National Park will eliminate the in-park sale of water packaged in individual disposable containers. Set to take place within 30 days, free water bottle filling stations are available throughout the park to allow visitors to fill reusable water bottles.

Deirdre Hanners, Environmental Specialist with Grand Canyon National Park, says that an estimated 20% of Grand Canyon's waste stream and 30% of the park's recyclables are disposable plastic bottles.

National Park Service (NPS) Intermountain Regional (IMR) Director John Wessels approved the plan which calls for the elimination of the sale of water packaged in individual disposable containers of less than one gallon, including plastic bottles and various types of boxes.

Grand Canyon National Park has experienced increasing amounts of litter associated with disposable plastic bottles along trails both on the rim and within the inner canyon, marring canyon viewpoints and visitor experiences.

A Climate Friendly Park
"Our parks should set the standard for resource protection and sustainability," said Regional Director Wessels. "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. I feel confident that the impacts to park concessioners and partners have been given fair consideration and that this plan can be implemented with minimal impacts to the visiting public."

Grand Canyon Superintendent Dave Uberuaga stated: "We want to minimize both the monetary and environmental costs associated with water packaged in disposable containers. "We are grateful to the Director for recognizing the need for service-wide guidance on this issue and for providing a thoughtful range of options."

"A lot of careful thought went into this plan and its implementation," said Director Jarvis. "I applaud Grand Canyon National Park for its efforts to reduce waste and the environmental impacts created by individually packaged water. This is another example of The National Park Service's commitment to being an exemplar of the ways we can all reduce our imprint on the land as we embrace sustainable practices that will protect the parks for generations to come."

To view a copy of the servicewide policy on reduction of disposable plastic bottles in parks, go to www.nps.gov/policy/plastic.pdf. For additional information on the NPS policy on disposable plastic bottles, please contact IMR Associate Regional Director for communications and external relations Rick Frost at 303-987-6732 . For more on Grand Canyon's plan to eliminate the sale of water packaged in individual disposable containers, please contact Grand Canyon Public Affairs Specialist Shannan Marcak at  928-638-7958  . And for more on Grand Canyon's voluntary reusable water bottle program, please visit the park's web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/refilling_stations.htm.

See: Water Bottle Filling Station Locations

References:
National Park Service
Grand Canyon National Park
Cover Photo: Grand Canyon. Credit: Ted Duboise