Home News & Features National Park Service Overturns Ban on Bottled Water

National Park Service Overturns Ban on Bottled Water


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) recently thanked the National Park Service (NPS) for reversing its December 2011 ban on bottled water in national parks.

“The NPS ban on bottled water was silly and illogical from its inception, particularly because the ban did not include the sale of less healthy drinks such as soda, juices, and energy drinks that are also packaged in plastic,” CAGW said. “CAGW began to investigate and question the decision, but found little to no provable environmental or scientific rationale for the ban.

“Water is the most essential nutrient for people, especially when they exercise and hike, and the ban made it more difficult and costly to drink water when it was needed,” CAGW said. “Overturning the senseless and ineffective ban on bottled water at all national parks should be celebrated by all Americans.”


  • Then-NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis released a policy memorandum on December 14, 2011, which encouraged parks to ban the sale of water contained in disposable plastic bottles.
  • Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds “discontinued” the policy.
  • “Currently only 23 of the 417 National Park Service sites have implemented the policy.”

“The revocation of the memorandum, which was put in place on December 14, 2011, is effective immediately.”