How Any Student Can Ban Single-Use Plastic Water Bottles at School
The ultimate guide every student needs to initiate a push back on the plastic crisis through plastic bottled water bans
There seems to be no end to the images of turtles, birds, and whales that have died as a result of ingesting the insane amount of plastic pollution on our planet. The gruesome pictures posted to social media daily can be overwhelming, especially when you’re just one person, one student who cares. What’s crazy is that we know that so many more people probably care, yet it’s hard to notice when you go to the market or school and see plastic everywhere. We ask ourselves, why aren’t people who work in the stores, schools, and who make purchasing decisions, putting their foot down when it comes to single-use plastics? Don’t they know it’s killing the planet? Are people uninformed, disempowered, or do they not care? Well, we found a group of people who are done with waiting. The PSA team at PATHWATER wants everyone to get the tools they need to tackle single-use plastic bottled water at every school campus. That’s why we’re bringing you the same tools that we’ve used to successfully enact single-use plastic bottled water bans at over 60 schools.
On our journey to help students across the country ban plastic water bottles on campus and ensure access to clean drinking water to refill their reusable bottles, we’ve uncovered one primary set back. Infrastructure. That one word has many meanings, but for our purposes, infrastructure, or rather, lack of investment in infrastructure has become an issue students must also understand in our quest to ban plastic bottled water. So here’s the scoop, your rights as a student and a human are being compromised if you don’t already have access to free, clean, safe drinking water to refill your bottle.
Access to clean drinking water for your reusable bottle is a human right
It’s a fundamental human right to have access to clean drinking water; it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re located. So when you follow the steps below to ban plastic on campus, we’ll help by giving your campus a free refill station per every 2,000 students. We believe in order to ban plastic; there must be cold filtered water that is readily available.
To tackle this issue on your campus, it’s going to take some work, but you will have the backing of our entire PSA team, supporting you along the way. Besides, there are so many youth movements that are making some changes. Your movement will be fueled by all of this same energy and passion. Have a look at these student leaders.
What is the problem with single-use plastic?
Single-use plastic bottled water is one of the most ridiculous things ever invented. Did you know that 64% of bottled water is just tap water and that it’s sold to us for 2,000x more than the price? The fact is that schools should be supplying clean, readily available drinking water so that students can stay hydrated. Studies have shown that dehydration causes a lack in mental functioning for students. These studies prove that even just sipping on water while taking a test increase test scores. It would seem that all schools should be encouraging students to bring reusable bottles and refill them as often as possible. Instead, many of our schools are allowing plastic bottled water to be the norm - sold at events, cafeterias, and vending machines. This shortsightedness on behalf of our schools is negatively impacting our plastics crisis, and quite frankly, the future of students in the worst toxic ways possible. Plastic bottled water must end. And we can introduce bans in spaces where large amounts are consumed.
These are some of the most toxic reasons we need to stop single-use plastic in our schools:
- Animals are dying from plastic pollution
- Plastic is highly toxic to our water, oceans, and the air we breathe
- Plastic is burned 6x more than it is recycled
- Plastic garbage is collecting in the world’s 5 major ocean gyres
- Plastic waste is in our food chain
- Microplastics found in table salt, tap and bottled water
- Toxic and carcinogenic impacting our respiratory system, nervous system, and reproductive system
- Plastic never leaves our environment since it is not genuinely recyclable
- Single-use plastic is not intended or safe for reuse
These are just some of the reasons why bottled water should never be single-use and should never be made from plastic or other unsustainable plastic alternatives. Schools can offer bottles made of aluminum or glass that can be refilled throughout the day with clean water from refill stations. It's your right as a student to be able to hydrate while at school and not worry about plastic bottled water causing more plastic pollution which directly impacts your health, and of course the quality of your future.
You're not alone! These schools are banning single-use plastic bottled water
Single-use plastic is a big concern and is one of the reasons our planet is suffering right now. Plastic trash has nowhere to go, so it ends up polluting our air, food, water, and, of course, our future. This is why by 2023, the California State University's 23 campuses will be banning all single-use plastic bottled water. A ban on plastic bottled water will be a huge victory for our health and the health of our planet. There's also a long list of K-12 schools that have banned plastic bottled water, and this was done by students just like you.
PUC Schools have banned plastic bottled water on all 14 school campuses, and CBS News showed up to cover the story. Students now have the option of buying an aluminum, REUSABLE canteen-style bottled water, PATHWATER, which costs the same as plastic bottled water. PUC schools also received new filtered hydration refill stations. Check out the video from CBS Los Angeles featuring one of the students from PUC Community Charter Early College High School!
Ready to ban single-use plastic at your school? Here's what to do, we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible.
Student Guide: 5 Steps to Banning Single-Use Plastic Bottled Water on Campus
These are the 5 super easy steps that you can take right now to get plastic bottles out of your school and banned from future sales, once and for all:
- Go to the PATHWATER Student Ambassador Program and sign the petition to ban single-use plastic
- Download the petition to ban single-use plastic bottled water at your school, and get 100 signatures
- After 100 signatures, take a picture of your signed petition forms, then email the photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Then apply to become a PSA to get support from the PATHWATER team
- Share the petition page and make an even bigger impact
No more plastic, no more excuses
There is no reason why single-use plastic bottled water needs to be sold at any school, ever. It is a bad example, it pollutes, and it's made from petroleum which is causing great changes to our climate. Youth around the world are making their voices heard on climate change issues; this is one giant and actionable way students can start pushing back on global pollution on campus. Our PSA members have banned single-use plastic bottles at their schools and replaced them with PATHWATER, the only canteen-style bottled water that you can keep for as long as you wish. Now, there is no excuse to keep plastic circulating on your campus. We have the solution, and we will bring in refill stations for your school as well; 1 free refill station per every 2,000 students. That means if you cannot afford to buy bottles all day long every day at school, you can buy a PATHWATER and refill your bottle, infinitely. We will be supporting you and your school with education, and will even show up for pop-up educational events where possible because we know how bad the single-use plastic crisis has gotten. It is time to turn this crisis around, and students like you are starting to stand up and demanding change all over the world.
Conclusion - What are you waiting for? Let's ban plastic now!
Your rights as a student include providing you with the essential support to be the best student you can be. You deserve nothing less than access to clean drinking water and bottled water options that are truly reusable, and recyclable. Students all around the country are starting to rise up and ask for what they deserve. PATHWATER continues to stand with students to get single-use plastic out of campuses everywhere.
Make sure to follow us on Instagram & tag @pathwater #refillit to join the conversation!