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Banning the Bottle


STUDENTS’ new green cause: promoting that most quotidian of beverages — tap water. According to the Earth Policy Institute, 86 percent of plastic water bottles in the United States end up as garbage. Not to mention the $2 students shell out for a bottle.

Beginning this fall, Seattle University and the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, join six other colleges and universities with a campuswide ban on selling bottled water, reports the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Washington University in St. Louis started the movement last year.

Campaigns to curb consumption, though, have been hindered by contracts with beverage suppliers. Last year, Cornell students were thwarted by the university’s multiyear contract with Pepsi, which owns Aquafina. After a full ban was rejected at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania, the student-led Just Tap It initiative won a concession: no bottled water on the meal plan.

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