Bottled Water : Coca Cola’s conflict with Grand Canyon National Park USA

>Very inspiring and informational!! A gentle reminder that there are so many heroes like Abdul Kareem working silently towards helping mankind and mother nature.During my visit to Periyar and Eravikulam National Parks, Kerala in 2008, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they were plastic free zones. Tourists weren’t allowed to bring in plastics and dispose inside parks, a feat that National Parks in USA are struggling to achieve !! Alarmed by the rise in plastic litter, the world famous Grand Canyon National Park, USA decided to ban sale of plastic water bottles inside the park last year but had to halt the decision because of the fierce resistance it met from Coca-Cola, one of the major donors to the park. The reason for Coca Cola’s resistance? Shops inside the park sold bottled water “Dasani” , a product of Coca Cola. Now given the huge popularity of the park (about 5 million people visit the park each year), loss on revenue sales from Dasani was a significant one for Coca Cola , thus triggering a red flag. Fortunately the park has overcome the obstacles now and the ban on bottled water was announced by the park authorities in February, 2012. Following the footsteps of Zion National Park, USA, Grand Canyon National Park would now have water stations inside the park and tourists are expected to refill reusable bottles.This story encourages each of us to take some baby steps towards preserving our natural resources. There was a time when I would get annoyed at my parents at their obsession towards carrying water from home when heading to railway station. I thought it was much more trendy to just buy one at the station. With time I realized how cool my parents were and how uncool I was in my approach !!

USA has safe tap water almost everywhere. Yet, why did this country become the biggest consumer of bottled water? Who brainwashed us into believing that bottled water was a need? Why didn’t we question the obvious? Bottled water poses two big menace – (1) huge wastage of resource and energy that goes into preparing one bottle. One bottle needs 3x amounts of water to prepare it (2) The plastic litter that never decomposes !! Yet why didn’t we stop it?
Now extend this to India, a country that is facing severe shortage of drinking water. Tap water at home and public places is unsafe to consume in many parts of India. Add to that the huge middle class with rising income that is willing to pay for “convenience”. A perfect breeding ground for predators !! Bottled water business is becoming one of the most attractive businesses in India, a sure shot success. As ground water continues to go down, plastic waste continues to rise. As water will become more scare, these companies would further expand, feeding on our water miseries. A chain reaction, a ticking bomb? Shudders to think!! Carry boiled/filtered water from home wherever possible. say NO to bottled water. Spread the word NOW !!
Thanks,
Shikha

8 Responses to “Bottled Water : Coca Cola’s conflict with Grand Canyon National Park USA”

  1. Ganesh says:

    Dear Shikha,

    Wonderful, little drops of water make the might ocean. We all can contribute in small ways, right from where we are. We need to.

    We need to give back to nature what take.

    A revolution has to raise, a revolution parallel to that of our freedom struggle, that much has to be the intensity. Every person’s veins, should reflect the immensity of the issues of the nature.

    We ought to start ‘LIVING’ and stop just ‘EXISTING’

    We have serious issue before us, but all out attention, focus and energies are only focused on mainly enjoying, increasing bank balances, without an eye popping out towards mother nature.

    Regards
    Ganesh

  2. Thanks Ganesh and Shekhar for highlighting the issue. I was also thinking about the huge number of complimentary Rail Neer bottles served in the Shatabdi /Rajdhani and similar rail classes everyday. The Railways might come up with unique ways to reward passengers who decline complimentary water bottles. Either through some green badges recognizing their efforts (something easy to give away), adding them to Railways Green club etc.

    -Shikha

  3. Am adding more after my original post as more and more thoughts come to mind .

    Copying Shekhar’s recent quote “In states of high emotion, I often ‘see’ that which should have been so obvious, but was veiled by structured thought.” I can see it the following context-

    USA has safe tap water almost everywhere. Yet, why did this country become the biggest consumer of bottled water? Who brainwashed us into believing that bottled water was a need? Why didn’t we question the obvious? Bottled water poses two big menace – (1) huge wastage of resource and energy that goes into preparing one bottle. One bottle needs 3x amounts of water to prepare it (2) The plastic litter that never decomposes !! Yet why didn’t we stop it?
    Now extend this to India, a country that is facing severe shortage of drinking water. Tap water at home and public places is unsafe to consume in many parts of India. Add to that the huge middle class with rising income that is willing to pay for “convenience”. A perfect breeding ground for predators !! Bottled water business is becoming one of the most attractive businesses in India, a sure shot success. As ground water continues to go down, plastic waste continues to rise. As water will become more scare, these companies would further expand, feeding on our water miseries. A chain reaction, a ticking bomb? Shudders to think!! Carry boiled/filtered water from home wherever possible. say NO to bottled water. Spread the word NOW !!

    Thanks, Shikha

  4. Dear Shekhar,

    If you see merit in my last comment, you might add it to the original post which was also from me. Some blog visitors do not read comments. The more I think of water issue, the more it appears to be an emergency !! Can’t afford to be onlookers . Thanks a lot for taking it up. Kudos for awakening us.

    -Shikha

  5. Sorry can’t stop. Another idea crossed my mind a while ago. Are we ready in future to purchase chambers of clean air to breathe from just because outside air is polluted? Sound weird isn’t it? Then why water? Are we willing to pay for water just because we have been conditioned into believing in that model? We should attack the root cause of water pollution, water shortage rather than subverting it.

    -Shikha

  6. Laura Zanze says:

    I found this blog to be especially interesting! I am a Recreation, Parks, and Tourism student, and as a requirement I had to find a blog that focused on a National Park or protected area, and this article hit so many important points for me. I have a love for travel and visiting as many National Parks as possible, but I am always amazed at the amount of litter from plastic water bottles. You find them everywhere! I recently visited Muir Woods Monument in Marin (CA) and was informed that they have implemented a program where even the cafe on site has no single use plastics within the facility. This has cut down on the waste and really helps spread the environmental message. Thank for the blog!

    -Laura Z

  7. deep says:

    Marvelous…..
    Gurgaonflowerplaza.com

  8. Sriram J says:

    Water-Future Market or in Commodity Trading in the Share Market?

    This is in continuation to my earlier blog on “Water Scarcity”, the below pictures resembles me of the same but from an Urban Perspective in contrast to my earlier blog which was more of an Rural situation.

    Water has become an business commodity today rather than an “Basic Human Right” to live… But am waiting for the day when the same would be traded the same way Gold/Silver and other commodities are being traded in the NCX market??!!! …Praying God on Not to have that kind of an situation…

    The photos below shows the water containers waiting to be SOLD…

    But if we have an reverse perspective view, the “plant pot” at the fag end of the photo and the way the water containers are kept in a straight line – Seems to me that these containers are being used to WATER THAT PLANT??!! IS THIS WHAT FUTURE HOLDS FOR US…

    The ground water levels are so depleted and contaminated with all kinds of toxins, and the future seems to me that, plants and trees would only be in the museums around the world for our generations with water cans lined up to water the on regular basis..

    GOD FORBID AND GOD SAVE US…

Leave a Reply