ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Zoo says it's giving up a $240,000-annual revenue stream when it stops selling bottled water to visitors.
Operators of the 125-acre zoo in suburban Royal Oak say they're acting to cut back on what is the "largest contributor to plastic waste."
"This phase-out will cost us revenue, but it's important to walk our talk and do what's good for the environment," zoo Executive Director Ron Kagan said in a statement.
The zoo says it will sell reusable water bottles that can be filled with filtered water at seven locations.
"We understand that this will be an adjustment for some visitors, but we hope it will help in a simple but significant way to make a difference for the planet," said Kagan.
In its announcement, the zoo described bottled water as a major waste disposal problem nationwide.
"According to the Earth Policy Institute, more than 30 billion water bottles each year end up as garbage or litter in the United States," he zoo said. "Additionally, it takes 5 liters of water to make 1 liter of bottled water, and it requires about a quarter of a water bottle of oil to produce, transport and dispose of a single bottle of water. "