Ban the Bottle? Kicking the Plastic Habit

On our campus, a shortage of water is never an issue—in contrast to the rest of Jordan and  so many other parts of the world. Over a billion people lack access to clean water today, but here at King’s we don’t even have to look. Drinking fountains are around every corner, five-gallon jugs are delivered to faculty apartments, and bottled water magically appears at our tables for lunch. But this convenience comes at a price: those plastic water bottles are made almost entirely from petroleum, and the overwhelming majority of bottles end up in landfills or incinerators, rather than in recycling facilities—over 75 percent, or 30 billion in the U.S. alone. One could object that the tap water on campus isn’t as clean as one would like, so bottled water is necessary—but then do we really need bottled water delivered to the fields for sports teams instead of a 10-gallon cooler? Why does the Kaziyeh  sell bottled water when students can fill their own water bottles?  What about the fuel needed to transport all this water to campus? If we could give out insulated water bottles to every RSIC participant last month and replace bottled water with carafes at the lunch table, we should continue to move forward, not back to business as usual.

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The campus newspaper of King's Academy, in Madaba, Jordan. Established 2007.