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Water Bottles at ND: One Step Forward.

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by

Jen Ho

on 30 April 2015

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Transcript of Water Bottles at ND: One Step Forward.

Light, easily shaped
Strong, able to withstand shipping
Easy to maintain sterility with plastics
Relatively inexpensive?
Pre-existing Policies
What are the options?
Keep the Status Quo
Eliminate Plastic Bags
Eliminate Plastic Bottles
Eliminate Both
Notre Dame:
Reduce Emissions, Conserve Resources, Increase Awareness.
Water Dispensers: Came into effect Fall 2012
Free reusable water bottles distributed to students through some dormitories, clubs/organizations, events, etc.
Discounts at select eateries
Reusable bags sold at Bookstore

Efforts of Other Institutions:
Over 90 colleges/university have eliminated waste from campus:
Chatham University
-
trays eliminated from dining halls (2009); water bottles eliminated from campus (2012)
Washington University in St. Louis
-
water bottles eliminated from vending machines/eateries (2009);
386,000 bottles/15000 gallons of oil reduced yearly
University of Central Florida
-
Efforts to reduce use of plastic bottles (Fountain)
Northwestern University
-
I
n-process of eliminating overall plastic waste on campus (EST 2012)
Bottom Line:
So Why Not Plastics?
BUT

3rd largest manufacturing industry in the US
900,000+ jobs
300+ million tons of plastic produced each year
$800 billion annual revenue

Bags
Average US consumer uses 350-500 plastic bags per year
In one week, worldwide consumption of plastic bags is over 10 billion
However, only 1% of plastic bags are recycled worldwide

Bottles
2.6 billion cases of water sold each year
1500 plastic bottles consumed every second
2000 times more expensive than tap water

Plastic waste is harmful and dangerous to the environment and all stakeholders
Plastics contain many chemicals that have shown to be hazardous to both the environment and human health:

Keep the Status Quo
Pro:
Eliminates the most plastic waste

Con:
Highest implementation costs

Eliminate One of the Two: Plastic Bags
Pros:
Reduce plastic production and pollution
Promote environmental consciousness
Cons:
Reduce incentive to make purchases on campus
Environmental costs of reusable bags

Eliminate One of the Two: Plastic Water Bottles
Pros:
Reduced air & water pollution, decreased energy and natural resource use, and smaller landfills
Health benefits; decrease in emitted chemicals
Lower costs
GMA: Water Taste Test
Capable of immediate action

Cons:
High initial costs
Incentive to substitute with other bottled beverages

Eliminate Plastic Bags & Water Bottles
Pros
No additional costs
Strong recycling program already in place
Cons
Environmental costs
Social impact
Stewards of God’s creation?

Which Is It Going To Be?
After weighing pros and cons, the best option is to
eliminate one of the two:

Bottled Water
Recommendation
Eliminate water bottles from campus-run eateries and dining halls
→ Increase presence of water filters on campus
→ Free stainless steel bottle for every student
Timeline: initial implementation - Fall 2016
final deadline - Fall 2017
→ Funding: Green Loan Fund and Eco-Fund could be utilized to cover costs
Future Action: Increase efforts in tracking plastic use and waste to record improvements and change policy structure as needed

(Seen in the Huddle Mart)
What Do You Think?
Would your own personal costs associated with eliminating bottled water be worth the benefits?
Would the substitution effect of buying other bottled drinks be too great to make our policy recommendation effective?
Will a ban on plastic bottles create a more environmentally-friendly image for Notre Dame? If so, will this affect the perception prospective students have of Notre Dame?
Does Notre Dame, as a leading Catholic university, have the responsibility to set an example of environmental stewardship by following this recommendation?

Ban the Bottle: Notre Dame's Next Step Towards Sustainability
"Plastics are broadly integrated into today’s lifestyle and make a
major, irreplaceable

contribution

to virtually all product areas
. Plastics are
responsible for countless facets of the modern life
we enjoy today"
-SPI- Plastics Industry Trade Association
Office of Sustainability
“Foster a pervasive focus on the connection between environmental stewardship and the Common Good.”

Industry Facts:
Environmental Economics
Group 3

Plastic chemicals leak into soil = groundwater contamination
Oceanic plastic pollution
Biotic mixing
Surfacing plastic debris
2010 study estimates between 4.8 and 12.7 million metric tons of plastic waste in the ocean (Jambeck et al 2015)
Environmental Damage
Human Health
Bisphenol A (BPA)
Research has shown BPA causes hormonal defects that can negatively affect sexual and brain development
Studies have shown that 95% of adults in the U.S. show detectable signs of BPA in urine


Polyethylene Terephtalate (PET)
Used to mold plastic into shapes
Bottles made with PET have been proven to leach small amounts of antimony into the water.
Antimony can cause symptoms ranging from nausea to death depending on dosage.

North, Emily J.; Halden, Rolf U. (1 January 2013). "Plastics and environmental health: the road ahead". Reviews on Environmental Health28 (1): 1–8

"Bottled Water Facts." Ban the Bottle RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <http://www.banthebottle.net/bottled-water-facts/>.

Caliendo, Heather. "The Economic Effect of Plastic Bags." National Center for Policy Analysis. NCPA, 6 Feb. 2013. Web. <(http://www.ncpa.org/media/the-economic -effect-of-plastic-bag-bans)>.

"GMA: Water Taste Test." ABC News. ABC News Network, 11 May 2013. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=126984>

Howard, Brian. "Despite the Hype, Bottled Water Is Neither Cleaner nor Greener than Tap Water." Editorial. E Environmental Magazine 9 Dec. 2003: 2-3. Common Dreams.org NewsCenter. Common Dreams NewsCenter. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1209-10.htm>.

"Metrics." Office of Sustainability. University of Notre Dame, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. <http://green.nd.edu/strategy/metrics/>

Monsignor Robert, Lynch. "Renewing the Earth." United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 1 Nov. 1991. Web. <http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/environment/renewing-the-earth.cfm>

"Pacific Institute: Research for People and the Planet." Pacific Institute. N.p., Feb. 2007. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <http://pacinst.org/publication/bottled-water-and-energy-a-fact-sheet/>.

Sterling, Burnett. "Do Bans on Plastic Bags Grocery Bags Save Cities Money?" National Center for Policy Analysis (2013): 14.
Bibliography
Recyclemania Competition
Sustainability Symposium(first time!)
Tapped
Full transcript