A water bottle filling station at the Grand Canyon. (Photo by Grand Canyon NPS.)

Once upon a time, there was going to be a ban on the sale of bottled water at the Grand Canyon, because apparently people can’t be trusted to tell the difference between a majestic natural wonder and a public rubbish bin. Then the Coca-Cola company got them to reverse the ban, because apparently selling a hundred squillion dollars worth of product everywhere else in the world counts for balls if you can’t have your brand on the litter at America’s oldest tourist attraction. Now, apparently, Grand Canyon officials have gotten tired of all this chicanery and decided to bring the ban back for good. Boo-yah, Coke, screw you in your face-hole.

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Okay, that’s the good version of the story. Here’s the official version: Once upon a time, there was going to be a ban on the sale of bottled water at the Grand Canyon. Then, nothing happened involving the Coca-Cola company, and also totally unrelatedly the National Park Service delayed enforcing the ban, and did we mention this was not because of requests from Coca-Cola? And now they are finally getting around to enforcing it for reasons having nothing to do with anyone’s face-holes whatsoever.

Short of taping a recording device to an elk and sending it back in time to eavesdrop on the Park Service’s main offices (which I imagine to be up a tree in Yellowstone, hence the elk, try to keep up), we may never know the whole back story. (Actually, there’s an extant FOIA request for relevant emails — only two had been released when The New York Times first reported on the stalled ban in November — but I like my plan.) But the important part is, no more disposable water bottles at the Grand Canyon! You bring your own, and you can fill it up inside the park at water bottle filling stations. Officials estimate that disposable bottles account for 20 to 30 percent of the park’s waste, so hopefully this will make a noticeable dent in the litter problem.

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