Even though many people have switched to reusable water bottles, the disposable kind are still common place. Many college campuses are looking to change that, as is the case with Macalester College and The College of St. Benedict.
These two schools have joined a nationwide movement that will ban disposable water bottles from their cafeterias and admissions offices. The College of St. Benedict is the ninth school in the nation to take things a little farther and completely ban the sale and purchase of water bottles on its campus entirely.
Apparently, this trend is not only affecting college campuses. Some cities, including New York City and San Francisco, have passed laws that ban the use of city money to buy bottles of water. There are even some cities that are considering banning the sale of these products within the city limits.
So why is there a sudden push against bottled water? Obviously, there is the concern for the environment. Like I said earlier, many times you do see an empty water bottle in a trashcan instead of a recycling bin. For students at Macalester College, this was a big motivator in their decision, since 76.5 percent of water bottles are thrown away instead of recycling.
“Macalester is claiming to be this sustainable, socially aware school,” said Clare Pillsbury, a senior at the school. “So if we’re selling bottled water, what does that say?”
However, that might not be the only reason.
“More importantly [than the environment concerns,] though, I think it’s the view that access to water is a basic human right,” said Judy Purman, director of sustainability at The College of St. Benedict. “The institution doesn’t feel it’s right to profit from the sale of something that’s a basic human right.”
These schools are encouraging students to drink tap water instead of bottled water. Sadly, there is the concern that students will reach for bottled sodas instead of tap water, which will not only not solve the problem of plastic bottles ending up in landfills, but will also lead to students consuming more calories from the sugary drinks than they would from consuming just water.
In my opinion, the best option might be to implement a recycling program on these campuses that would make it easier for students and faculty members to recycle their bottles of water. Also, the schools could provide reusable water bottles to students for a cheaper price or possibly as a welcome gift at the beginning of the semester.
What do you think? Should bottled water be banned from schools and cities? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
Via The Star Tribune