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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      House Committee on Natural Resources
      Federal Lands
    IntroducedSeptember 13th, 2017

What is it?

This bill would resurrect a 2011 ban on plastic water bottle sales on National Park Service (NPS) land that was rescinded in 2017. It would require the directors of each National Park System region to establish programs to recycle and reduce the use of disposable plastic bottles within each of their region’s NPS units.

Impact

National Parks visitors; National Park Service; and the bottled water industry.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) introduced this bill to help combat the plastic waste problem by reviving the 2011 plastic ban:

“President Trump and Interior Secretary Zinke’s decision to overturn the common-sense plastic water bottle ban in National Parks is a clear reminder that this Administration will continually bow to the agendas of profit-driven corporations at the expense of our National Parks, wildlife, and environment…. We know that seventy percent of plastic water bottles find their way to landfills and waterways; and in National Parks, those bottles build up along trails and streams, harming our pristine sites and endangering the plants and animals that call them home. Our National Parks serve as shining examples for how to treat our planet, while allowing Americans and visitors alike the opportunity to enjoy our nation’s awe-inspiring natural heritage. Reinstating the sensible, flexible ban on the sale of single-use plastic water bottles helps ensure that these public spaces — from Yellowstone and the Everglades to Yosemite and Zion — are protected for future generations.”

This bill has 28 cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats.

This bill is supported by Food and Water Watch, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Palstic Pollution Coalition, and Corporate Accountability, among others. It is opposed by the International Bottled Water Association, which has argued that the NPS’ plastic water bottle ban was “seriously flawed,” noting that parks that banned water bottles still allowed sales of bottled sweetened drinks.


Of NoteIf passed, this bill would revive a 2011 policy encouraging national parks to eliminate the sale of disposable plastic water bottles that was ended by the Trump administration in 2017. Of the Trump administration’s rescission of the ban, Rep. Quigley said, “It's an inconsistent message — it's hypocrisy, and it shows an extraordinary lack of ability to govern and insensitivity to an extraordinarily important issue in our national parks.”

In the time that the plastic water bottle ban was active, the National Park Service estimated that it saved up to two million water bottles each year, prevented 5,000 pounds of plastic from entering the waste stream, 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. These figures reflected the ban’s implementation at 23 out of 417 NPS sites.

When the Trump administration announced it was discontinuing the ban, Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds said, “While we will continue to encourage the use of free water bottle filling stations as appropriate, ultimately it should be up to our visitors to decide how best to keep themselves and their families hydrated during a visit to a national park.”

Zion National Park in Utah alone eliminated the sale of 60,000 water bottles (representing 5,000 pounds of plastic waste) by installing bottle-filling stations and selling affordable reusable bottles in their concession stands.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: yanik88 via iStock)

AKA

Reducing Waste in National Parks Act

Official Title

To encourage recycling and reduction of disposable plastic bottles in units of the National Park System, and for other purposes.

    Definitely! We need to take the information on how the previous program failed; improve the idea and make it work. Although, I can see this administration stopping this from happening. #45 and this administration have no sense of responsibility to the earth, air or waters.
    Like (103)
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    While I’m a huge fan of eliminating the use of plastics that aren’t biodegradable, this legislation is too balky, burdensome, and unrealistic to enact effectively. There are better ways to get this done. The original legislation for this bill was a slight of hand bill meant to make it seem like something was getting done when, in reality, nothing was being done. Comprehensive environmental reform including the ban on plastic bags, plastic bottles, and the like is the path to renewal.
    Like (26)
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    The earth belongs to ALL GENERATIONS not just us! Let’s preserve it for the future The LAST thing potus should do is appoint a bunch of ANTI-ENVIRONMENT cabinet spots. Oops he already did
    Like (47)
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    Why in the world would trump get rid of this???He is the most arrogant, narcissist asshole I have ever known!
    Like (39)
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    The NPS must enact policies on No Sale of plastic bottles in the parks AND prohibit the disposal & littering of those containers when on sight. **In WA State, if you bring it in, you take it out.** People who enjoy the outdoors understand that it is their responsibility to treat the natural world with respect. NOTE: 10 Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2018 Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System. ... Sawyer Mini Water Filter System. ... Aquamira Water Purifications Drops. ... Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets. ... Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter. ... Katadyn BeFree 3.0L. ... Platypus Gravity Works. ... LifeStraw Flex Multi-Function Water Filter System.
    Like (31)
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    Plastic and polystyrene containers need to go away!!!!!
    Like (20)
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    I would encourage everyone to bring their personal water containers. I can remember when I was Girl Scout, I carried my silver water container with me for hiking & filled up natural spring water. More plastic bottles ruined the nature & waters. Want to see personal silver container like I had to come back to save the environment
    Like (17)
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    Absolutely!
    Like (13)
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    Reducing the amount of plastics in any location is good for the long term impact on the environment. It was an extremely bad policy decision to remove the ban to begin with
    Like (12)
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    This is just an example of the excessive regulation of the growing bureaucracy in this nation. I love our country, but it is growing more socialistic and bureaucratic with its countless agencies, regulations, and expenditures. It needs to be up to each individual park.
    Like (11)
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    Why are you trying to destroy our environment?
    Like (10)
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    Absolutely! Plastic pollution is a huge environmental problem, but this administration doesn’t seem to care about the environment at all. Let’s bring this country into the future, not stay in the past.
    Like (9)
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    let''s clean up our carbon footprint. Making recycling more convenient is a good start
    Like (8)
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    Yes! Let’s be practical!
    Like (8)
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    Why stop there? Isn’t the banning of plastics something the whole nation should be doing?
    Like (7)
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    This is a individual person problem. As the public uses these public lands, do it with respect and personal responsibility. I was taught to carry out or throw away my trash. My son works for the Forest Service and cleans up after us. Everyday he picks trash from the ground beginning only a few feet from the trash receptacles and then scattered further away throughout our land. Recycling and trash removal begins with you. We do not need another burdensome law to further task short staffed employees and impinge on limited Forest Service Budget. Carry it in Carry it out!
    Like (7)
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    Single use plastic is an environmental scourge and we should be doing everything we can to reduce its use and to educate the public. #thereisnoaway
    Like (7)
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    Yes, just look at the plastic island in the pacific, it’s twice the size of Texas
    Like (6)
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    Of course they should minimizes their use of plastic. They promote the beauty of nature, they should also promote how to keep it beautiful.
    Like (5)
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    Sounds pretty stupid to me to remove water bottles from national parks. Places where people do a ton of hiking. Sounds to me like your just asking for dehydration!
    Like (4)
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