A blog set out to explore, archive & relate plastic pollution happening world-wide, while learning about on-going efforts and solutions to help break free of our addiction to single-use plastics & sharing this awareness with a community of clean water lovers everywhere!
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Better Bring Your Own: University Of Vermont Bans Bottled Water
A student walks past a sculpture made of
empty water bottles on the University of Vermont campus. UVM has banned
the sale of bottled water. Toby Talbot/AP
When students at the University of Vermont
resume classes on the snow-covered Burlington campus Monday, something
will be missing: bottled water. UVM is the latest university to ban
on-campus sales of bottled water.
At one of UVM's recently
retrofitted refill stations, students fill up their reusable bottles
with tap water. For many of the 14,000 students and staff on this
campus, topping off their refillable bottles is an old habit.
much more convenient to fill up your water bottle at a water fountain
than to buy bottled water," says Mikayla McDonald, a recent graduate,
who a few years ago helped to launch the campaign that led to UVM's ban.
McDonald hopes it will reduce waste. But for her, it's not just about
changing behavior on campus.
"Bottled water is a symbol of our culture's obsession with commodifying things that should be public trust resources," she says.
that spirit, a few other American colleges have restricted or banned
the sale of bottled water to promote sustainability. But the University
of Vermont is the largest public institution to do so, and that
development disappoints beverage companies.
"I think they're
concerned because it's such a radical step," says lobbyist Andrew
MacLean, who represents local water and soft drink distributors in
Vermont. He agrees with the students' environmental goals, but he thinks
an outright ban restricts free choice and will ultimately fail.
factors that will result in more materials getting out of landfills is
going to be a cooperative effort promoting strong recycling," he argues.
at least one New England town says recycling isn't enough to keep
plastic bottles out of its waste stream. Concord, Mass. — perhaps best
known for its role in the American Revolution — joined the student
movement this month, outlawing the sale of single-serve plastic water
bottles in its stores.