First plastic bag bans, now communities ban bottled water

Jul 1, 2013, 4:50 PM | Updated: Jul 2, 2013, 6:06 am
Western will join Seattle University, Evergreen State College and the City of Seattle in banning bo...
Western will join Seattle University, Evergreen State College and the City of Seattle in banning bottled water sales. (Linda Thomas photo)
(Linda Thomas photo)

Seattle has had its plastic bag ban for one year – prohibiting single-use shopping bags because they clog up landfills.

Now another Northwest community plans to ban plastic water bottles for the same reason.

Students moving into dorms at Western Washington University in the fall along with their clothing, sheets and towels – should also bring reusable water bottles.

Earlier this year, 73 percent of the students passed an initiative recommending that the Bellingham university ban sales of bottled water on campus.

The administration recently wrote to the campus group Students for Sustainable Water at WWU that it will help implement the ban “as soon as possible.”

Banning the handy bottled water comes at a price.

Western has the same budget problems all colleges and universities are facing. The WWU student association estimates they could lose nearly $60,000 in revenue if people buy fewer bottled beverages from campus facilities and vending machines.

Western will join Seattle University, Evergreen State College and the City of Seattle in banning bottled water sales.

Don’t let the appearance of cool, clear bottled water fool you; environmentalists say those plastic bottles are noxious.

Bottles used to package water take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade and if incinerated, they produce toxic fumes.

When the City of Seattle investigated a bottled water ban they determined only 1 out of 5 bottles are sent to the recycle bin and landfills are collecting about two million tons of discarded water bottles every year in the U.S.

Cities and colleges frowning on bottled water comes at a time when Niagara Bottling company has announced they’ll invest $50 million into a bottling plant in Frederickson, in Pierce County.

The company says 90 percent of its water is bottled for retailers under their private labels.

By LINDA THOMAS

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First plastic bag bans, now communities ban bottled water