Universities move toward reducing wasted plastic
Promoting use of reusable water bottles, more filtered water fountains on campus
Published: Monday, February 25, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013 19:02
The University of Vermont will be the first American university to adopt policies geared toward completely eliminating the sale of bottled water in university-affiliated facilities. They plan to encourage the use of reusable, BPA-free plastic water bottles in order to reduce the amount of wasted plastic. Vermont has arranged to set up multiple new water fountains catering to reusable water bottle users. The new water fountains feature an elevated spout to make refilling a water container easier and faster. While such an aggressive policy of completely eliminating the sale of single-use water bottles is not entirely relevant to our university, some of their ideas surrounding the promotion of reusable water bottles use could be beneficial here.
Completely ridding the campus of single-use water bottles is a little ridiculous. If someone forgets their container at home and needs a drink of water, they should be able to access one fairly easily. Not to mention, eradicating water from all menus may encourage the consumption of soda and other less healthy options. If the university were to adopt such a policy, they would lose all sales from single-use water bottles, and therefore they probably will never do it. However, encouraging the use of reusable water bottles and fountains is a realistic measure the university could take in order to do its part in becoming more environmentally friendly.
Tap water in Newark doesn’t have the best reputation and limiting the amount of purchasable water is bound to upset a few people. Therefore new fountains need to be publicized correctly, highlighting that the water is purified and safe. Also, it would help for people to know reusing water bottles will benefit the environment. Educate students on why reducing plastic production is important and the policy will be adopted smoothly.