by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Trump administration is ending a policy implemented by former president Barack Obama that attempted to ban water bottles at national parks.
The National Park Service announced last week it was ending the so-called Water Bottle Ban, which the Obama administration implemented in 2011 to “reduce our carbon footprint.”
“In its commitment to providing a safe and world-class visitor experience, the National Park Service is discontinuing Policy Memorandum 11-03, commonly referred to as the ‘Water Bottle Ban,'” the agency said in a statement.
The National Park Service said the policy was counterproductive and only 23 out of 417 parks implemented the ban.
“The 2011 policy, which encouraged national parks to eliminate the sale of disposable water bottles, has been rescinded to expand hydration options for recreationalists, hikers, and other visitors to national parks,” the agency said. “The ban removed the healthiest beverage choice at a variety of parks while still allowing sales of bottled sweetened drinks. The change in policy comes after a review of the policy’s aims and impact in close consultation with Department of the Interior leadership.”
The Obama policy memorandum “strongly encouraged” parks to stop selling plastic bottles of water for the “great symbolism” it would convey, even though the policy “ran counter” to the administration’s “healthy food initiative.”