10/13/2017 - Regulatory Rollback

Disposable Plastic Water Bottle Ban

by EELP Staff

The Environmental & Energy Law Program is tracking the environmental regulatory rollbacks of the Trump administration. Click here for the list of rules we are following. If you’re a reporter and would like to speak with an expert on this rule, please email us.


December 14, 2011 The National Park Service issues a memorandum encouraging individual parks to ban the sale of disposable plastic water bottles within the parks.

Trump Era

August 16, 2017 The memorandum is discontinued, and the National Park Service no longer discourages the sale of disposable plastic water bottles.

September 13, 2017 US Representative Mike Quigley introduces the “Reducing Waste in National Parks Act” (H.R. 3768), which seeks to reinstate the voluntary ban.

September 22, 2017 In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the National Park Service publicly releases a report from May 2017 that evaluates the success of the voluntary ban. It determines that the policy reduced plastic use by up to 111 million pounds, prevented up to 141 million tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted, and conserved a significant amount of energy and landfill space.

September 10, 2019 US Representative Mike Quigley reintroduces the “Reducing Waste in National Parks Act” (H.R. 4236) seeking to encourage recycling and to reduce plastic bottle use in national parks.