Superintendent of Mt. Rainier National Park Randy King is preparing the park for a bottled water ban, according to a March 25 press release. The International Bottled Water Association, meanwhile, supports "freedom of choice" on the issue of selling bottled water at park concession stands.

Mount Rainier Park is installing more stations where visitors can refill water bottles and working with concessions and guest services partners to sell low-cost reusable bottles. Such bottles cost as little as $1.99 at the Grand Canyon and the 14 other national parks that have already banned the sale of bottled water.

Yesterday, the IBWA came out with a statement against such a ban, since they say 63 percent of consumers will choose sugary drinks if bottled water isn't available. (This seems likelier for consumers at a middle school than folks climbing a fucking mountain, but it appears they don't make that distinction.)

The IBWA also claims to be concerned about a possible decline in recycling in the park, since sugary drink bottles are recycled less frequently than bottles of water. IBWA has an optimist outlook on the water bottle recycling rate, reporting, "The national recycling rate for single-serve PET plastic bottled water containers is now at 38.6 percent. "

Park superintendent Randy King emphasizes in his statement that the National Parks Service is all about the Three R's, and Mt. Rainier is focusing on reducing consumption in order to promote sustainability. The ban should also go a long way toward preventing the other three-fifths of those plastic bottles, which are not being recycled, from winding up strewn about mountaintop trails.