The Trump administration has overturned a ban on selling bottled water at national parks that was intended to reduce both plastic pollution and the costs to taxpayers of waste removal.

The National Park Service (NPS) announcement about the change noted that the Obama administration’s prohibition on bottled water “removed the healthiest beverage choice at a variety of parks while still allowing sales of bottled sweetened drinks.” It was essentially the same argument made by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), which had opposed the ban.

Advocacy group Food & Water Watch said the trade group has spent over $300,000 lobbying on bottled water policy in national parks and other issues. 

30% of garbage

The organization’s Executive Director, Wenonah Hauter, said; “A study by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility showed that in most parks surveyed, disposable water bottles are the single largest source of trash that parks must pay to haul away, making up an average of almost 30 percent of parks’ solid waste.”

More than 300 million people a year visit the 411 national parks.

Hauter accused the Trump administration of favoring corporate interests over the environment and public health.

Former bottling industry lobbyist is head of department

Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is a former lobbyist with the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, who counts among its clients Nestlé Waters, a large water bottlers company. The U.S. Interior Department oversees the (NPS).