grand canyon
by Ali Berman
Categories: Causes, Environment.
Photo: Flickr/B Rosen

When it looked like the Grand Canyon Plastic Bottle Ban was going to be left on the cutting room floor after last minute lobbying efforts from Coca Cola, activists came out in full force. They gathered nearly 100,000 signatures to support the ban and encourage officials to make sure it went through.

According to the petition, 30% of all trash at the Grand Canyon National Park is made up of plastic bottles. The Coca Cola Company has lots of money tied up in the plastic bottle business. In addition to their sodas, they owns products like Dasani, Minute Maid and Vitaminwater.

The petition said, “We cannot let corporations like Coca Cola shut down common sense measures to reduce plastic pollution. The Grand Canyon Park Service must do its job and protect our public land by immediately banning plastic bottles from the canyon.”

Thankfully, those hundred thousand voices were heard and while Coca Cola is a major funder, their wishes were tossed in the bin.

The creator of the petition still has some concerns about the ban. Stiv Wilson said, “Unfortunately, the new directive, which allows park superintendents to implement bottle bans in their jurisdiction, may not result in changes best for our national parks. If the barriers to implementation of bottle bans are too cost-prohibitive or onerous for the superintendents to act, then we’ve only witnessed a bait and switch.”

Perhaps it’s time for individuals to reach out to their local national parks and find out if the ban will take effect. And if not, it’s time to get local and vocal.

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

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  • Nanash

    Instead of banning this and blaming them and this and that….can the groups not work together on how to work together…a new way to recycle that coca cola funds…they get good press and the national parks get help keeping plastics at bay and protects the park…

    Just an idea….try working together to hit a common ground that benefits everyone!

    • Diskotek

      What is the alternative?…glass bottles?, Aluminum Cans ? Coconut Husks

  • ChivaLRy9mm

    Regardless of whether you make a ban or not, people will still bring plastic bottles in. It’s a fact of life. How about instead of making more laws and regulations the bottling companies take a portion of their multiple million dollar profits (that they make by selling one of the most abundant natural resources in the world) and research bio-degradable plastics and the like…