Starting next month, the sale of bottled water will be illegal at the Grand Canyon National Park. The ban is a response to the increasing problem of plastic litter around the canyon. Park officials estimate that the bottles represent 20 percent of the park's waste and 30 percent of its recyclables, reported Reuters.
The ban would most likely have been enacted in 2010, but pressure from Coca-Cola reportedly pushed park officials to drop the idea. The story leaked and led to a petition on Change.org that gathered more than 100,000 signatures to support the ban, and the Grand Canyon reconsidered.
To keep visitors to the park supplied with water, ten water stations have been installed. (Tourists are still allowed to bring plastic bottles in.) While Coke can no longer peddle its Dasani water, the sale of other beverages in plastic bottles is still allowed.
Banning the use of the bottles does significantly more good than verifying that they're recycled. Tremendous energy is required to melt down the plastic, much of which can't be used again, anyway. But if you can't buy 'em, they won't make 'em.