Science and TechPollution


Report: Obama-Era 'Water Bottle Ban' Might've Helped The Environment

The Trump administration rolled the policy back in August, saying national park visitors should decide for themselves how to stay hydrated.
Posted at 3:03 PM, Sep 26, 2017

The Trump administration rolled back an Obama-era policy aimed at reducing plastic waste. But a newly released report shows the rule might've had significant environmental benefits.

The 2011 rule — sometimes called the "Water Bottle Ban" — encouraged national parks not to sell disposable plastic water bottles so visitors would use reusable ones.

The Trump administration argued parkgoers should decide for themselves how to stay hydrated.

But the new report, published because of a Freedom of Information Act request, shows the policy did some good. The report estimates the rule prevented between 1.3 million and 2 million bottles from being sold and used every year.

And it estimates the policy prevented CO2 emissions by up to 141 metric tons each year.

The National Park Service distanced itself from the report, saying it was originally meant for management to make decisions on the policy and that NPS lacked the data to ensure the findings.

Still, Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois wants the administration to reinstate the ban and make it permanent.

Quigley argues the report shows "that the Trump Administration will continue to deny science, research, and facts in its efforts to prioritize big corporations at the expense of our wildlife and environment."