Last year we defeated the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) plan to stop the National Park Service (NPS) from banning the sale of plastic water bottles at national parks. Tomorrow, NPS Director John Jarvis will testify before Congress and we expect IBWA and their allies to attack him again. Click here to tell members of the House Interior Subcommittee to Buck the Bottle.
Last year, we defied Big Water when we successfully shelved an ill-advised amendment to a House spending bill that would have REQUIRED the National Parks Service (NPS) to sell bottled water. We knew that the bottled water lobby, led by the powerfully International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) would be back with a vengeance -- after all, they've dropped over $500,000 in the last four years to lobby members of Congress to keep selling plastic bottles in our national parks.1
Tomorrow, National Park Service (NPS) Director John Jarvis will testify at the House Interior Subcommittee. It's widely expected that members of the committee will grill Jarvis on the issue of banning the sale of plastic bottled water in national parks. They'll most likely reference a report that claims banning the sale of bottled water puts people's health at risk, forces poorer families to purchase reusable water bottles "they can't afford" and that NPS has not complied with Congressional directives.2 There's only one small problem -- the report was funded and written by IBWA.
We need to let Director Jarvis know that we have his back when he testifies tomorrow and we have to let members of Congress know that we don't want our national parks trashed with plastic bottles just so IBWA's members can make a buck off our national park system. Click here to tell members of the House Interior Subcommittee that when it comes to our national parks they must Buck the Bottle.
There's a reason we stood with our friends at Corporate Accountability International last year to stop the sale of plastic bottles in parks. According to NPS, parks have been overflowing with plastic water bottles, which account for 20 percent of their waste stream and 30 percent of their recycling costs.3 Plastic bottles are also particularly dangerous for wildlife inhabiting the parks, who sometimes mistake them for food.4
But IBWA is offering a slew of specious reasons to stop parks from doing the right thing. They claim that poor families won't be able to afford reusable bottles, and this will put them at risk for dehydration. But here's the thing, according to a report by Business Insider, bottled water costs 2000 times as much as tap water.5 IBWA has no shame, they even tried to co-opt a national call for racial justice, using the phrase "BottledWaterMatters." That sentiment is as synthetic as the plastic bottles they want to keep polluting our parks with.
It's clear that IBWA doesn't care about the trash, they only care about the cash. It's up to all of us to back up the NPS effort to keep our parks clean and healthy. The more support we show for Director Jarvis right now, the better our chances to keep Big Water amendments out of the next budget negotiation. But we have to act fast, since the hearing is tomorrow. Click here to stand with the NPS, our parks and our wildlife by backing up the plan to ban polluting plastic bottles.
Thanks for sounding off,
Anthony and the Environmental Action Buck the Bottle Brigade
1. Rein, Lisa. How Big Water is Trying to Stop the National Park Service from Cleaning up Plastic Bottles Fouling the Parks. Washington Post. July 13, 2015.
2. International Bottled Water Association: A Report on Failure to Follow Procedures in the National Park Service's Flawed Campaign Against Bottled Water.
3. Hill, Taylor. Bottled Water Could Be Clogging National Parks Once Again. TakePart. July 13, 2015.
4. Lights, Zion. What's the Problem With Plastic Bottles? One Green Planet. May 8, 2012.
5. Boesler, Matthew. Bottled Water Costs 2000 Times as Much as Tap Water. Business Insider. July 12, 2013.