Grand Canyon National Park bans sale of plastic water bottles
The National Park Service is banning the sale of plastic water bottles within Grand Canyon National Park, more than a year after the move was announced and then put on hold after Coca-Cola - which bottles water under the Dasani brand - raised concerns about the plan.
Two billion years of geologic history are displayed in stunning scenery at Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. A hiker walks on the south Kaibab Trail about halfway to Phantom Ranch.
The new restrictions take effect within 30 days, and follow the example of Utah's Zion National Park, which launched a similar program in 2008, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which offers water stations and encourages visitors to bring their own bottles or buy a stainless steel reusable bottle at the Kilauea Visitors Center.
Discarded plastic bottles account for about 30% of the Grand Canyon's total waste stream, according to an earlier park service estimate, and a park official said bottles are the single biggest source of trash found inside the canyon.
The Grand Canyon has installed 10 water filling stations on the South Rim and three on the North Rim, and some of the park's concessionaires have installed similar facilities at hotels or restaurants.
The new policy applies only to bottled water. Retail outlets within the park can still sell soda and juice in plastic bottles, and visitors can still bring plastic bottles into the park.
In other Grand Canyon news, Arizona commemorates 100 years of statehood on Feb. 14, and its most famous destination is celebrating by waiving its entrance fee of $25 per vehicle that day.
Visitors who arrive on the anniversary can enter free of charge, but those who plan to spend time in the park beyond Feb. 14 will need to pay the fee for the remainder of their stay - along with standard charges for camping, reservations, tours and concessions.
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