Should Your School Ban Bottled Water?

With all the recent buzz about the dangers of bottled water, we thought we’d look into the issue a bit more.  Within the last few years, we’ve found that there have been several campaigns on university campuses to ban the sale of plastic water bottles.  Many of these campaigns have resulted in successful bans, but the debate remains heated.  Should colleges and universities ban the sale of bottled water on campus? Strong arguments exist for both sides of the debate.  We have written an article entitled, “Should Universities Ban Bottled Water,” which lists the main reasons for and against a bottled water ban.  This list applies, not just to university campuses, but to any place that is or has been in the middle of a campaign to ban bottled water.

Can you think of any arguments that are not included in this list?  Let us know what you think, and don’t forget to cast your vote in our most recent poll on this issue.

4 thoughts on “Should Your School Ban Bottled Water?

  1. Kim, you are very right that there should be many improvements in place before schools (or municipalities) consider bottled water bans. I do think it’s unfair and a bit hypocritical to propose a ban on bottled water, but not sodas or other drinks that come in plastic bottles. I think bottled water gets the bad rap because most people have access to decent tap water, and if they don’t, there are filtration options that should make their water taste great and have less contaminants than most bottled water. I think water refill stations would be a great idea; New York City is doing that very thing now (and embracing their tap water).

    When it comes down to it, though, I can’t support a ban on bottled water because I think consumers should have a choice. That choice may be bad for the environment, but we don’t need a ban to change behavior. I think as more and more people educate themselves about bottled water, they’ll come to embrace their tap water. We won’t need a ban if more people just refuse to buy bottled water in the first place.

    But short of a soda keg system, I’m not sure how you would carbonate water in your home. :)

  2. Bottled water should only be banned if ALL bottled drinks are banned as well. I am a bottled water drinker; I pay a lot extra to get carbonated water in glass bottles, actually. I will drink plain water bottled in plastic if I don’t have carbonated water available and it is NOT the same as my local tap water, depending on the brand. I’ve had debates about “why do you pay for water” and I’ve even done a blind taste test to prove I can taste the difference between bottled and tap. (Which I can, easily, when the bottled water is one of the brands I prefer.) There are brands that taste just like the local tap water because they ARE tap water; I detest those. I have only recently become aware of the HUGE environmental impact of my water habit and I am willing to happily give up the plastic (you can pry the glass bottles out of my cold dead hands) in favor of reusable IF certain conditions are met. 1. Will reusable bottles be a security issue? 2. Will I be able to take my reusable container in to places like movie theaters? 3. Will I be able to obtain decent water to refill my container with? (In other words- can I purchase carbonated water where regular soda is sold?) 4. Will I once again be relegated to dirty, nasty, unhygienic water fountains when I am out in public? (I’ve been a bottled water drinker since waaaay back when you couldn’t find it for sale outside of a grocery store.) 5. I DO NOT LIKE SODA AT ALL and I get very distressed when that is my only option, so I see bans of bottled water as a huge step backwards from a thirst perspective!!

    (I’m sure I could come up with a better list here; this is off the top of my head. I have been so happy at always being able to find bottled water since it became really popular, but then I have been dismayed at the tap water brands like Dasani taking over, and now the environmental question really throws a monkey wrench in my thirst quenching quest…)

    I am open to finding solutions to the problem b/c I am concerned about the environment, but that solution should include sales of ALL drinks packaged in plastic. Don’t just pick on the water drinkers!!! Maybe one day we can have soda machines like the water refill stations in the super markets, where you bring your own container, put it under the spout, and fill it up. As long as one of the choices is a good carbonated water I’ll be a happy camper! :)

  3. I Thynk Dey Shuydnt Kuz Dey mIte Want Water Nd Dee One Frm Dee Tap Tastes WeiRd!

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