Grand Canyon National Park will end the sale of water in disposable plastic bottles (less than one gallon in size) within the next 30 days. The park has been working to implement this for quite some time, but has gotten official approval from their regional director to go ahead, after evaluating their anaylsis and proposals.
Grand Canyon is largely responsible for the new directive issued to all national parks, to examine their drinking water usage, to implement recycling, and if feasible, to even eliminate sales of disposable water bottles, as Grand Canyon is doing. Free water filling stations have already been installed in several locations on both rims of the park. Visitors are encouraged to fill their own reusable bottles at these stations, which both saves them money, and eliminates the millions of disposable bottles used annually.
On a personal note, we think this is a great idea. We are guilty of using the convenience of large multi-packs of throwaway water bottles too. But being able to refill and reuse bottles is something we should all be willing to do, especially when it is made this easy. In addition to reducing the waste, hopefully this will reduce litter, which has become an increasing problem in the parks. Seeing plastic water bottles and other litter throw carelessly in these beautiful areas is infuriating. Will there continue to be some of that? Of course. But initiatives like this will surely reduce the frequency of it. The parks are doing whatever they can to help us become more responsible. The rest is up to us, the visitors, and lovers of these amazing places.