Ban the sale of plastic water bottles on the CofC Campus!
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Since the College of Charleston's Quality Enhancement Plan is Sustainability Literacy - with a focus this year on water quality and quantity, we challenge the College of Charleston to ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles on campus. This initiative addresses the triple bottom line efforts of the College of Charleston as follows....
- Environmental: Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year. However, the U.S.’s recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles – more than $1 billion worth of plastic – are wasted each year. Bottles that aren't recycled end up in landfills, where they never truly degrade, and in oceans where they break down and can be ingested by birds and other marine life. In addition, nearly all water bottles are made from PET a plastic produced from crude oil. The Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable estimates that one 500-milliliter (16.9 oz) plastic bottle of water has a total carbon footprint equal to 82.8 grams of carbon dioxide. To add insult to injury, it requires 3 times the amount of water to produce a plastic bottle than it does to fill it.
- Economic: An analysis conducted by Consumer Reports found that bottled water use for one year could cost $346, but the same amount of tap water would only be 48 cents. If you bought that amount of bottled water for 10 years, the cost would be over $3,400. This is more than the cost of a semester spent living in Buist, College Lodge, Craig, McConnell, or Berry Residence Hall.
- Social: Water is a basic human right and the college should not be supporting the privatization of this natural resource. In many areas of the world, the drinking water is unsafe, making sources like bottled water a necessity; however, in the US, this is simply not the case.
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