Water bottle fountains could save time and money
Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
Should I grab this plastic water bottle or take the time to fill up a bottle with water from the sink? Is there a bottle fountain where I’m going or just a water fountain? These questions are common in students’ minds as they get ready for class in the morning.
According to author, Charles Fishman, “Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year. However, the US recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles – more than $1 billion worth of plastic – are wasted each year.”
The convenience of grabbing a plastic water bottle from the store, that is already filled with water and easily accessible, has college students everywhere buying cases of plastic bottles. But despite the convenience, excessive use of these water bottles might have serious consequences when it comes to the enviornment.
According to The Container Recycling Institute, “Americans buy an estimated 42.6 billion single-serving (1 liter or less) plastic water bottles each year. Almost eight out of ten end up in a landfill or incinerator. Hundreds of millions end up as litter on roads and beaches or in streams and other waterways. Taxpayers pay hundreds of millions of dollars each year in disposal and litter cleanup costs.”
The expenses to buy the cases of bottles are affecting our bank accounts as much as our environment.
BanTheBottle.net explains that, “The recommended eight glasses of water a day, at US tap rates equals about $.49 per year; that same amount of bottled water is about $1,400.”
A quick and easy fix for this economic and environmental issue, espececially on college campuses, is to install water bottle filling stations. These filling fountains can often be installed in conjuction or in place of existing water fountains. A good example of these fountains can be found on Elky.com. According to the company, their “bottle fillers provide convenient hydration with a rapid fill of filtered water to quench thirst and minimize plastic bottle waste in the environment.”
Adding these Elky stations into all the university buildings would not only save college students and the university money in the long run, but it would also decrease plastic waste and littering on campus.