Water bottle ban dampens environmental objective

James Simpson

In 2013, UVM took a leap in its pro-environment crusade by ending the sale of bottled water on campus. While the intentions of SGA were noble, it is time to rescind the measure and finally recognize it as the failure it is.

As reported by NPR, the number of single-use plastic bottles sold on campus has risen since the ban took effect.

And without the option of water, students have ended up consuming more unhealthy drinks than when they could have purchased water.

But that shouldn’t come as any surprise when you remove the choice for the healthiest beverage.

I find it strange that the many vending machines around campus, including the one in the Davis Center near Brennan’s, have “Healthy Beverages on the Go!” written on them and yet are filled with a plethora of energy drinks, sodas and other high-calorie, high-sugar choices.

If UVM truly wants students to drink healthier beverages, the University must give them the option to purchase water on campus.

While most students, including myself, carry around a reusable bottle for refilling, there are times one either forgets it or just does not have it on them.

As has happened to me before, if I don’t have my bottle on me and want a drink on the go, my choices are flavored water, soda, energy drinks
and other undesirable options when all I want is plain water.

In light of the ban actually increasing the number of plastic bottles sold on campus and students drinking more unhealthy beverages, I call on SGA to recognize that this well-intentioned idea has been a total flop.

To get the results that were sought by the ban, the sale of all single-use plastic bottles would need to be banned.

However, that would only exacerbate the inconvenience caused by banning only water bottles.

There are many ways we can reduce our environmental impact, but this is not a successful example of one of them.

It is time to call a spade a spade and put an end to this unsuccessful policy.