Banning the Plastic Water Bottle
Many young apartment dwellers today may not know this, but their parents used to drink out of the tap – all of the time. Sometimes they even drank from the hose when they played outside. They drank water from fountains at school and at work, and get this – they never carried around a water bottle.
One reason was that water bottles didn’t exist. But other than that, water from the tap was considered safe, pleasant, and refreshing, even if wasn’t spring water or lacked antioxidants. And the fact that they could get “hydrated” for free was pretty awesome.
Now, the bottled water industry is a $60 billion-dollar business and is dominated by the soft drink companies. There is nothing wrong with that per se. No one is forcing us to buy all of these water bottles, but as we pointed out in a previous blog post, titled Think Outside the Bottle, there has been a huge environmental impact:
Single-use bottles of water cost up to 10,000 times more than drinking from the tap. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles are made of plastic that is produced using fossil fuels, and transporting these bottles to warehouses, stores, homes and offices uses additional fuel. Approximately 80% of single-use bottles are not recycled, and it can take up to 1,000 years for the bottles to decompose in a landfill.
So now, some localities (who have to pay for the landfills) are fighting back. On March 4, 2014, San Francisco became the first major city in the US to ban the sale of plastic water bottles on public property. They will phase the ban in over four years on both indoor and outdoor properties. Waivers will be granted if an alternative waters source is not available, but violators will face fines up to $1,000. This action follows similar bans in 14 national parks, several universities, and the town of Concord, MA. The President of the Board of Supervisors was quoted as saying “it was not long ago that our world wasn’t addicted to plastic water bottles.”
Greystar apartment management team members are supporting the nationwide “Think Outside the Bottle” campaign and have agreed to stop buying and distributing bottled water in apartment community leasing offices and Greystar corporate offices. Greystar is now encouraging all of its associates, and YOU, to make the same pledge at work and at home.
This effort is not a cure all, since there will still be plenty of soda bottles out there, but it will have a major environmental windfall. And we all will benefit from that. Make your own pledge today!