Why on Earth Is Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Spitting Out Bottled Water?

The National Park Service hasn’t fully banned plastic water bottles from littering their hallowed grounds. This begs the question: Why?
Jul 17, 2013
Anna Hess is an editorial intern at TakePart. She is the Crime and Legal beat reporter for the University of Pennsylvania’s daily newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian, and volunteers as a mentor in the West Philadelphia public school district.

The sweet song of warbling skylarks. The earthy crunch and snap of fallen leaves and parched branches beneath lightly treading feet. The abrasive crackle of polyethylene water bottles littering the terra firma and choking wildlife to death.

Ah, the native sounds of the American national park system, utilized by bottled beverage mega-corps as a theater for their tree-killing merchandise.

About half of all the waste that visitors leave behind in over 400 parks nationwide consists solely of plastic water bottles, according to the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. The Story of Our Stuff Project aims to trash that stat once and for all.

On June 21, the project posted a video to spearhead a campaign that depicts parks inundated by the translucent contraband. Their goal is to hasten a ban on plastic water bottles in national parks.

The Story of Our Stuff activists claim that the bottled water industry hawks their goods in these parks specifically to un-demonize their products in the eyes of visitors getting their green on among the American flora and fauna.

But here’s a message to all our cherished environmentalists out there: Demonize away and do not be fooled—the energy equivalent of 50 million barrels of oil is spent each year on water bottle production, and 76.5 percent of those plastic devils end up in landfills, reports the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

And while a select few parks have been able to manage partial bans, hundreds still remain unprotected.

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