Save the Grand Canyon from Coca Cola! Ban Plastic Bottles in the Park
  • Petitioned Jon Jarvis

This petition was delivered to:

Director, National Park Service
Jon Jarvis
National Parks Service
David Barna
Corporate Partnerships, National Parks Foundation
Anika Davis
Grand Canyon National Park
Shannan Marcak

Save the Grand Canyon from Coca Cola! Ban Plastic Bottles in the Park

    1. Stiv Wilson
    2. Petition by

      Stiv Wilson

      Portland, OR

December 2011


When the National Park Service canceled a planned ban on plastic bottles in the Grand Canyon after Coca Cola expressed concerns, Stiv Wilson launched a campaign asking the agency to reverse its decision. After more than 100,000 people signed Stiv's petition, the National Park Service announced the bottle ban in the Grand Canyon and a new process for all national parks to adopt similar bans.

Find out more about what Stiv is doing with 5 Gyres to stop plastic pollution.

 On November 10th, the New York Times exposed the real reason the National Park service scrapped their common sense plan to ban the sale of disposable bottled water in Grand Canyon National Park: pushback from Coca Cola, a major park funder.

According to the article, plastic bottles make up 30% of all waste in the park and are the largest source of trash in the canyon. So why isn't this project moving forward?

Here's the problem: Beyond the pollution plastic bottles cause in the park itself, that plastic trash can be transported out to the ocean by the Colorado River. With as many rivers as there are in the world, even ones like the Colorado that have inconsistent flow, even one bottle is too many whether it reaches the ocean or not. If plastic does get to the ocean, it can contribute to The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, causing scores of problems for every creature it encounters along the way- fresh water or salt. 

I have seen this problem firsthand. A few years ago I had the opportunity as a journalist to sail with the research organization, The 5 Gyres Institute,  to a garbage patch. After seeing what I saw there I was disgusted: plastic trash of every type you can imagine including disposable plastic bottles and bottle caps. Upon my return, I promptly quit my job, began volunteering and devoted my career to trying to solve the marine-eco disaster that is plastic pollution.

Plastic PET bottles pose a clear and present danger to the overall health of the environment and contribute to marine plastic pollution. Coca-Cola sponsors groups that conduct beach cleanup efforts but consistently opposes solutions that would reduce pollution in the first place, like bottle deposits and bottle bans.

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.


Recent signatures


    1. 100,000 Signatures Overcome Coca-Cola in National Park Bottle-Ban Debate

      Corinne Ball
      Petition Organizer

      If you’re looking for good news for the holiday season, we’ve got something for you. The proposed ban on sales of disposable plastic water bottles in the Grand Canyon National Park, which had been abruptly shelved last year following alleged pressure from Coca-Cola is now moving forward and would take effect next year. One of the reasons for this change seems to be 100,000 signatures on a petition calling the National Park Service (NPS) to reconsider the ban.

    2. Reached 100,000 signatures
    3. USA TODAY: Grand Canyon plastic water bottle ban is back on the table

      Corinne Ball
      Petition Organizer

      "While it is commendable that the National Park Service has decided not to completely cow to Coca-Cola on a plastic bottle ban, the new policy is still troubling," said petition organizer Stiv Wilson in a prepared statement. " 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."

    4. Reached 75,000 signatures
    5. New York Times: Parks Chief Blocked Plan for Grand Canyon Bottle Ban

      Corinne Ball
      Petition Organizer

      Weary of plastic litter, Grand Canyon National Park officials were in the final stages of imposing a ban on the sale of disposable water bottles in the Grand Canyon late last year when the nation’s parks chief abruptly blocked the plan after conversations with Coca-Cola, a major donor to the National Park Foundation.

    6. More info: Read the Public Employees for Public Responsiblity press release

      Corinne Ball
      Petition Organizer

      Just days before Grand Canyon National Park instituted a ban on sale of individual plastic water bottles, the ban was indefinitely suspended on orders from the Director of the National Park Service (NPS). After receiving reports that this abrupt about-face was tied to large donations from the Coca Cola Company, which sells bottled water, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) today filed a lawsuit to obtain records on this policy u-turn after NPS declined to surrender them.

    7. Reached 500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • David Krauss FOSTORIA, OH
      • about 2 years ago

      I support alternatives to plastic containers for ALL food and beverage products and to petroleum-derived plastics in general.

    • Kyler Donlan HARWICH, MA
      • about 2 years ago

      This garbage will destroy the environment.

    • saqib sahi LAHORE, PAKISTAN
      • about 2 years ago

      because i care deeply about the environment and people and not motivated by making more and more profit ! ;(

    • Gregory Hubbard SANFORD, ME
      • over 2 years ago

      The trash in the canyon is a disaster, and it has gotten worse! This ban is vital if this park is to survive

    • Carrie Loper CORAL GABLES, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      Obvious reasons


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