I read today in a news report (Guardian newspaper, 27.09.2017) that the ban on bottled water in 23 national parks prevented up to 2 million plastic bottles of water being used and thrown away every year. According to the article “That is equivalent to up to 326 barrels of oil worth of emissions, 419 cubic yards of landfill space and 111,743 lbs of plastic,” according to the US national park May study.
Despite these findings, the Trump administration reversed this ban after only 3 months, paying lip service to the bottled water industry. According to Lauren DeRusha Florez, an associate campaign director at Corporate Accountability International, “The fact that Trump administration officials knew the benefits of this policy back in May but still decided to rescind it last month sure looks to me like the bottled water industry’s lobbying dollars at work.”
The program was originally implemented to support a “life cycle” approach to plastic, which activists say is the largest global threat to the environment behind climate change. One million plastic bottles are sold per minute, according to a Guardian analysis, and their research has revealed that the top six drink companies in the world use an average of just 6.6% recycled plastic. At the same time, new research has shown that plastics which find their way into the sea have entered the food supply. Scientists have found plastic particles in sea salt, honey, fish, beer and tap water.
In my opinion this action is basically no more than pandering to corporate interests – they are adding a few dollars more to their bottom line at the expense of America’s pristine landscapes. A petty act by the US’ 45th President that absolutely no credit to his administration’s environmental record.