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In 2013, The University of Vermont issued a bottled water ban on its campus. The intent was good – the university wanted to reduce plastic bottle waste. Unfortunately, the result was not what anyone expected. According to NPR, the number of single-use bottles being shipped to campus went up by 6% in the first semester. The students ended up using more single-use bottles and drinking less healthy beverages.
No industry receives more scrutiny than bottled water when it comes to sustainability, even though plastic water bottles account for less than 1% of plastics produced in the US. While we are aware of the rising use of plastic and its harmful effect on the environment, we are against the bottled water ban because we believe it’s too limited in focus.
As of today, soda sales outpace bottled water sales. Much of that soda is delivered in the form of plastic bottles. So why not also focus on banning plastic soda sales as well? If the University of Vermont experiment is any indication, wouldn’t this approach further reduce plastic bottle waste? Banning anything is simply not a way to get a society to move. However, offering options is.
Single-use plastic water bottles are disposable and contribute to plastic waste. But, when there are no other options, they are a healthy alternative to soda. The bottom line is, they are a necessary. Rather than focusing on banning them, we can make them more eco-friendly. Our bottle supplier has made award-winning changes to their packaging. The bottles are 100% recyclable and have a thinner body, smaller caps, and smaller labels. This reduces the amount of plastic used right out of the gate. As a bonus, the lighter bottle weight allows more product per truckload, reducing vehicle emissions. Read this article to make sure you are recycling your water bottles correctly.
Speaking of shipping – the most ignored consideration is where the product originates. The globalization of the food and beverage system is killing our planet and reducing the quality of what we put into our bodies. A bottle of water from Fiji has a larger carbon footprint than a bottle produced in your hometown. Shipping materials, fuel, and emissions are all reduced when you buy locally.
Three words: bottled water cooler. Water coolers dispense three and five-gallon water bottles. How does this address sustainable drinking water solutions? The bottles are sanitized and re-used hundreds of times. Finally, they are recycled at the end of their life – giving you a waste-free bottled water alternative.
Also, we have created a system that keeps the production of new water dispensers to a minimum. Once a water cooler finally reaches the end of its life, a local vendor scraps and repurposes the parts. Homes and small businesses favor bottled water coolers. If you are looking for a more sustainable way to drink water at home, a bottled water cooler is an excellent alternative. Read this article to learn more ways to conserve water at home.
Water filtration systems are plumbed-in, static units that treat and chill your tap water. Water filters are growing in popularity. Our inline filters are great for companies that have higher water consumption demands. These units are sustainable because they end the need for plastic bottles. You must change the filter periodically (as little as once a year). Filtration dispensers that reach the end of their useful life are scrapped and repurposed.
As you can see, there is more to the story when it comes to bottled water. By handling the packaging properly it is possible to enjoy drinking water sustainably. If you’re looking for ways to be kind to Mother Earth, we’re right there with you. And if you’re curious to know how good our water tastes, let’s chat. We look forward to speaking with you!
Watch this video to learn about Distillata’s plastic water bottle recycling program.