Joining the growing “back to the tap” movement, President Lee Pelton announced today (March 14) that Emerson College is phasing out bottled water on campus.
Via an email message to the Emerson community, he also wrote that the purchase of bottled water with institutional funds will be “strongly discouraged.”
Emerson joins an expanding list of colleges and universities that are eliminating the use of bottled water. Toward that end, Emerson will install new “hydration stations” that are reusable-bottle-friendly; retrofit some existing water fountains to be more reusable-bottle-friendly; phase out 5-gallon water jugs and continue to install plumbed filtration systems; and ensure that events catered by Aramark offer pitchers of water rather than individual serving bottles.
Pelton’s announcement came in time for World Water Day, which is March 22. World Water Day is designed to draw attention to the importance of fresh water and advocates for the sustainable management of fresh water resources.
Among the widely accepted facts about bottled water are:
• Plastic bottles are made from petroleum.
• The process of bottling water contributes greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
• Bottled water is expensive. (Americans spent more than $10 billion on bottled water in 2009, paying up to 1,000 times the cost of tap water.)
• It is not safer, even though bottled water is marketed that way. In fact, tap water in the United States is subject to more stringent federal safety regulations than bottled water.
• It erodes confidence in public tap water.
• Plastic bottles make up an enormous portion of litter.