Ditching Dasani

The Student Government Association is imposing a ban on bottled water with the help of the student body. “The idea behind the ban is to get students to pledge themselves to no longer purchase or drink bottled water on campus,” SGA Senator Mike White said. There is free tap water, which is healthier than bottled water. It is tested more than bottled water and is hygienically cleaner, White said. “The City of Burlington water goes through a more rigorous process of purification than Dasani water,” SGA Senator Will Vitagliano said. Dasani bottled water is distributed by Coca-Cola Company, which has a contract with the University, according to the UVM website. White said he believes it is hypocritical to consume so much bottled water when UVM claims to be an environmentally aware campus. UVM throws away 25,000 water bottles each week and 400,000 each semester, White said. “They should ban it because UVM provides us with so many things,” sophomore Saiyo Aiba said. “UVM tells us where bottles are recycled and you see so many bottles being thrown in the trash when the recycle bin is two feet away.” There is a clause in the contract with Coca-Cola that says if sales decrease around 10 percent, the University would have to pay a fine, Vitagliano said. “We’ve been trying to do it for a couple years now but that clause makes it hard because we don’t want to acquire fines,” he said. “We launched the campaign two weeks ago. If we start now, hopefully sales won’t drop that much by the spring.” The SGA has talked with the administration but the administration has not taken a formal stance on the issue, Vitagliano said. “If we take that block of people that participate in the ban to the administration when the administration decides to renew their contract with Coca-Cola, they may take into account the drop in sales of bottled water,” White said.