Taking a page out of Big Oil’s playbook, the bottled water industry is getting lawmakers to block bans on disposable water bottles, which ban is intended to protect the environment. Plastic water bottles are among the most common bits of pollution in America’s national parks.
U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA) introduced a last-minute bill that prohibits the National Park Service (NPS) from banning the sale of plastic water bottles at concession stands. In recent years, 20 out of 407 parks in the NPS network banned all plastic water bottles from their grounds. The ban prevented 5,000 pounds of plastic from polluting the parks.
When drink companies took notice, they launched a $13.1 billion marketing and lobbying campaign to attack the bans on bottles that were effectively protecting the environment. The campaign involved major drink companies, like Deer Park, Fiji, Evian, “and 200 other brands.” One of their tactics was to say that the NPS was encouraging people to drink unhealthy sodas instead of water. When that didn’t work, Rep. Rothfus lent a hand and his bill passed.
This is another example of corporate and big money interests winning over politicians. Whether it be the oil industry, Big Pharma, Wall Street, or beverage companies, those willing to spend the most money usually win at the expense of people and the environment.