According to the Huffington Post, a newly approved budget amendment will force national parks to sell water in disposable plastic bottles. This congressional action came only after a lobbying campaign from the International Bottled Water Association. The amendment will only further enable littering, an already predominant problem currently plaguing national parks.

National parks provide us with a means to experience and appreciate the natural wonders of our country.  The parks allow us to abandon our overwhelming, synthetic society for a peaceful, natural world. A present enemy of the natural amenities of national parks is perhaps one of the most exploited synthetic amenities, the plastic bottle.

Last year Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles. With the US rate of recycling plastic bottles at only 23%, this means 38 billion bottles each year pile up as litter in landfills, dumps and—even worse—natural places like parks, rivers and beaches. Apart from nationally increasing the amount of trash, carbon emissions and litter, the financial cost non-recycled bottles accumulates to about $1 billion dollars annually.

The Huffington Post, in partnership with the Friends of Little Hunting Creek, documented the annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup. The cleanup of Fairfax County, Virginia, has been a tradition since 2002 and year after year non-reusable beverage containers make up the majority of the trash. A volunteer who surveyed 100 feet of the river’s shore line documented 1,971 plastic bottles; about half were water bottles.

At Quench, our bottleless water coolers eliminate the need for plastic water bottles in your work place. To continue the practice when you’re out of the office, whether that means on the trails, at the local park, or at the beach, carry a reusable water bottle and avoid buying plastic bottled drinks.