The economy is in a terrible crisis, yet "Americans spend more a year on bottled water than on iPods, milk, or beer," (Message in a Bottle by Charles Fishman). Millions of people are being exposed to harmful chemicals and contamination by plastic bottled water. It is time to take a stand against these crimes, and ban the sale of plastic bottled water on all community and technical college campuses in Washington.
Plastic bottled water is one of the largest global environmental problems. Only 1/5 of plastic water bottles are recycled. While the remaining bottles are in landfills, rivers, streets, and oceans, they will leach chemicals into the environment and kill wildlife for the 1,000 years that it takes them to biodegrade.
The cost of plastic bottled water is astronomical from production to consumption. According to the book Message in a Bottle by Charles Fishman, "bottled water costs 10,000 times more than tap water (about $10 per gallon)." Every year 32-54 million barrels of oil are used to supply the American demand for bottled water. That's like filling each bottle of water 1/4 full of oil and using three times the amount of water to produce one bottle. Even the cost of recycling these containers is unrealistic. Clayton Ward (a Washington recycling company) revealed that the bottles they receive must be shipped to Mexico, because there are few companies in the United States that will break them down.
Plastic bottled water is also harmful to the human body. According to the EWG, the top ten U.S. brands of plastic bottled water contained alarming levels of contaminants including fertilizer, industrial chemicals, caffeine, pharmaceuticals, chlorine, arsenic, and radioactive isotopes. Unlike bottled water, tap water must be checked weekly for contaminates and cannot have any traces of E. coli. The EPA requires that the results of these tests be made public; this is not the case for plastic bottled water.
Brittney Stephens (ASCBC President 2009-10)
Veronica Rodriguez (ASCBC Vice President 2009-10)
Kristina Klopfenstein (ASCBC Vice President of Finance 2009-10)
The above platform paper was submitted to the Student Voice Academy of Washington Community & Technical Colleges on behalf of the 2010 student body at Columbia Basin College. This was the second year that the students of CBC have submitted this platform for legislative action.
Feel free to also review the extended research materials and informational brochure submitted with this platform.
Other Ban Bottled Water Resources
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