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Ex-Grand Canyon head: Coke talks end bottle ban

Ex-Grand Canyon head: Bottled water ban ends after talks with Coke; Park Service says not so By The Associated Press

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) ' A former Grand Canyon superintendent says plans to ban the sale of plastic water bottles at the canyon were scrapped after talks with bottled water distributor Coca-Cola, which is a donor to the national parks system.

But National Park Service spokesman Dave Barna said Thursday that Coca-Cola was not the leading factor in pulling the plug on the ban two weeks ahead of its scheduled Jan. 1, 2011, start date. Barna says the agency determined the ban wouldn't solve the littering problem at the Grand Canyon, and the plan needed more input.

Steve Martin retired as Grand Canyon superintendent earlier this year. He says other companies, including Nestle, talked with park officials about the ban, but it wasn't halted until Coca-Cola Co. came forward.

The New York Times first reported on the ban.

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