UConn Students Look to Ban Disposable Water Bottles

The “Ban the Bottle” campaign has made its way to the UConn campus at Storrs. The Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and the Undergraduate Student Government Sustainability Committee are working to ban the sale of single-use, disposable water bottles on campus by 2020.

“We're not taking them all away at once, but rather working gradually towards the long-term solution of being totally disposable water bottle free,” said Sustainability Committee Chairperson Myles Gibbs.

The idea seems to have traction among students. According to UConn PIRG, their petition has already collected 3,200 signatures.

“It is a paper petition basically from students telling the university that they want to see this change to make us a more environmentally conscious and healthier campus,” said Casey Lambert, the Ban the Bottle campaign coordinator.

That petition and legislation on the topic is set to be presented to the student government on Wednesday. Freshman Wawa Gatheru drafted the legislation and said their efforts could not come at a more important time.

“UConn and Coca-Cola are about to renew their contract this summer and we have seen other universities like Northeastern and Washington University in St. Louis modify their contracts,” said Gatheru.

NBC Connecticut spoke with several students who said they would in favor of adding more refill stations on campus, instead of adding more waste.

“I always carry around my own water bottle anyway,” said senior Michael Espinell.

UConn PIRG said the ban would not apply to sporting events at Gampel Pavilion.

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