10/13/2017 - Regulatory Tracker

Disposable Plastic Water Bottle Ban

by EELP Staff

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Current Status

In 2011, NPS issued a memo encouraging individual parks to ban the sale of disposable plastic water bottles within the park. The Trump NPS withdrew that rule on August 16, 2017. Legislators have introduced legislation in opposition to that move, but it has not passed.

History

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.