By Devin Orsini
How many plastic water bottles do you go through in a day? If you’re like many Canadians and have purchased a reusable water bottle, your answer is most likely very few, if any at all.
Unfortunately, there are still many Canadians that use disposable water bottles on a daily basis, myself included. Families can go through hundreds of bottles a year. If you don’t believe me, then just look at your neighbours’ recycling bins. Take a peek at the cascading receptacles at the end of so many driveways on garbage day.
Disposable water bottles are sold in every business and building, on every corner of every street. Convenience plays a part, despite how easy it is to purchase a reusable water bottle.
The city of San Francisco has recently banned the selling of plastic water bottles on city property, which they will retroactively enforce over several years.
Algonquin sells plastic water bottles in every cafeteria, vending machine and in most buildings. We have all heard the negative effects plastic water bottles have on the environment. Millions of bottles a year are sent to landfills instead of being recycled; it takes a massive amount of energy to manufacture, ship and dispose of them, not to mention the harmful chemicals they secrete into the water that get passed to consumers. You don’t need a statistic or a survey to tell you that we, as an institution, go through a lot of plastic. Almost 20,000 students attend Algonquin. By discontinuing the sale of plastic water bottles, we would eliminate a large quantity of plastic the college “recycles.” It would encourage students and staff to purchase reusable water bottles and it would start a trend that other businesses and institutions would be encouraged to follow.
Just because something is recyclable, doesn’t mean it’s always recycled. All the time I see people throw plastic bottles and other recyclables in the garbage.
On the other hand, the college would be denying its students and staff a basic necessity. It would divert people to outside food vendors and conveniences and therefore hitting Algonquin financially. It would also make it very inconvenient for those who buy water bottles on a regular basis.
The college is making strides towards accommodating those with reusable water bottles. Physical Resources claims there are water bottle refill stations in every building, the same most commonly found on city property and gyms across Ottawa.
So many plastic water bottles are being thrown into landfills across Canada, instead of being used to build bridges and playgrounds for kids. What’s safer than a playground made of recycled plastic water bottles?