How many of you drink single-serve water, such as Dasani? Well, in the United States we consume millions of bottles of water that equals billions of dollars. These plastic water bottles often end up as litter or in the landfill. Studies find that in fact only one in five bottles gets recycled. This costs America tons of money that could be spent elsewhere. The Ohio State University is one of the largest universities in the country, and if we can reduce our bottled water usage we could help set an example for the rest of the country.
At most restaurants tap water is free, but most people would still rather pay a couple of dollars for bottled water. Yes, bottled water is more convenient and some say it tastes better, but in fact studies have shown bottled water is not any healthier or even less healthy than tap water, and that there is no difference in taste.
There are several alternatives that the university could implement to help reduce the amount of plastic bottle use on campus. The best alternative would be to educate and provide reusable water bottles to students to fill with water at refilling stations. The next step would be to increase the number and availability of refill stations throughout campus.
The environment will only continue to degrade unless plans become implemented not only at the Ohio State University, but throughout the whole country. Implementing a plan at the university would be a good case study into finding out what alternatives work and what don’t. It is not a quick process but will take time and finding the right alternatives and providing the correct information.