Goodbye Bottled Water, Say 90 Universities

There’s no need for bottled water and the mountains of non-biodegradable waste it creates in landfills and in our oceans, not to mention the oil required to produce the bottles and transport them. 

90 universities across the US agree – they’re restricting or banning it on campus, reports Bloomberg.

Among the schools that reject bottled water in cafeterias and vending machines are Brown, Harvard, Dartmouth, Princeton and most recently, the University of Vermont.

Instead, students use reusable stainless steel bottles and drink at campus "hydration stations" which offer free, filtered water.

About 320,000 bottles a year were sold at Brown University, for example, before banning them in 2010. Although plastic bottles are recyclable, they rarely get recycled.

The $22 billion bottled water industry, of course, isn’t enthused. The International Bottled Water Association suggests students concentrate on more important issues, like the problems in Darfur.

Over 9 billion gallons of bottled water sold in the U.S. last year, in an industry that’s growing 5.4% a year, reports Bloomberg.

Some schools, such as Berkeley and Columbia, decided against the ban because they thought students would buy water elsewhere or buy sugared beverages instead.

Several cities have also stopped using public funds to purchase bottled water, and Grand Canyon National Park just announced it won’t sell water in smaller containers than a gallon. See this map for bottled water bans.

Cities that spend millions of dollars a year on bottled water could be using that to upgrade their public water infrastructure. And companies like Nestlé are taking over community water resources – ruining streams, ponds, wells and aquifers. Learn more and watch the "Story of Bottled Water":

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