American Beverage Association

March 29, 2013

BYOW: Bring Your Own Water (Before it’s too late!)

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is one of the world’s largest urban parks with campsites, hiking and bike trails – even a working lighthouse – spanning three California counties: San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo. Movies have been filmed in GGNRA. Last of the Mohicans and Maverick were filmed at Yosemite National Park; Escape from Alcatraz and The Rock were filmed on the infamous Alcatraz Island, which is also part of GGNRA.

This is a national park for those who love the great outdoors and good, steep climb like the half-mile trail that leads to Point Bonita Lighthouse. The park advises, “Bring your own water when visiting.”

If a group of activists get their way, however, you won’t be packing water in a plastic bottle. A rally recently held at GGNRA urged a ban on plastic water bottles anywhere along the 116 square mile park. They don’t want you bringing your own plastic bottles or purchasing them from concession stands. This extreme water bottle ban would require the park service to install new water-filling stations for the more than 13 million people who visit GGNRA each year. That’s quite an expense.

Recycling is a key component of our environmental mission. It is an important part of our business and our lives. We’ve invested large amounts of resources in sustainability by using 100 percent recyclable packaging, reducing the amount of plastic used to make our packaging, building energy efficient bottling plants and supporting comprehensive curbside recycling programs.

Banning plastic water bottles is nothing more than a solution in search of a problem.  More of our view is expressed in our statement below:

Eliminating plastic bottles altogether isn’t the answer because it limits personal choice and doesn’t address the bigger picture. People should have the choice to decide how they drink water in a National Park – from a bottle of water, from a water fountain or from a refillable container. While making that choice, they should also be educated on the benefits of recycling and ways to do so.

Many Americans appreciate the convenience and portability of bottled water and water beverages.  In fact, they now play an important and healthy role in our nation’s beverage consumption patterns.

American beverage companies lead the way in conservation and recycling.  Our innovation and investments in green bottling, fuel-efficient fleets, energy efficient buildings, and recovery and reuse of packaging materials is good business and good for the environment. And our advancements in these areas are being shared, adopted and modeled worldwide.


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