November 4, 2015

Hundreds Sign Petition Calling to End Sale of Bottled Water

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Over 620 people have signed a petition as of Wednesday calling to end the sale of bottled water on campus, addressed to President Elizabeth Garrett and the Student Assembly, according to Zeyu Hu ’19.

The petition, which launched Monday evening, is sponsored by the S.A.’s environmental committee and includes signatures from undergraduates, faculty members and alumni.

“The majority of the responses have been positive and supportive,” said Hu, a member of the S.A. environmental committee. “The petition has been generating meaningful discussion about tangible steps to reduce plastic products such as disposable water bottles that enter the campus waste stream.”

The committee’s petition is the latest step in a movement to end the sale of bottled water on campus that began several years ago. In 2010, the S.A. passed a resolution called “Take Back the Tap” which recommended that Cornell take several measures towards limiting the use of bottled water on campus.

The 2010 resolution recommended that the University encourage using refillable bottles, invest in more drinking water infrastructure and take “gradual but concrete steps to end the purchase, sales, and distribution of bottled water on campus and at Cornell-hosted events.”

“While [the] Student Assembly passed this resolution, President Emeritus Skorton left the decision on the ‘Taking Back the Tap’ resolution ambiguous and did not provide a concrete answer,” said Emily Dong ’18, chair of the S.A. environmental committee. “The Environmental Committee thinks this resolution’s goals are still relevant and maybe even more so, especially with other campus sustainability groups working on waste and fossil fuel divestment.”

The committee plans to submit another resolution to the S.A. on ending water bottle sales on campus, according to Hu.

“Our hope is that the support we receive from this petition in tandem with the resolution will show the University students’enthusiasm for moving towards a more sustainable campus,” Hu said.

  • SixthAmendment

    If you don’t want to buy bottled water, no ones trying to force you to drink it. Why must you try to remove options from other people

  • But…

    What about soda? Will we only have soda available? If someone is thirsty and doesn’t have their water bottle or forgot it and needs a convenient container, they will be forced to choose a carbonated drink.

    Overall, the cause probably is worth this. But just a thought.

    • Old Man McCloud

      You know pop is no good for you – esp. that diet stuff. Look up with it does to your gut’s bacteria! For four years I tramped up & down the Hill without a water bottle full of fresh glacier melt from Norway priced at 43 NOK — and I survived….and yes, I survived without a morning Starbucks, as well. [I did NOT survive the water in Bangkok, however.]

      I do agree you should get hydrated: So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups of beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups of beverages a day.

      Bottled water is surely a better alternative than Coke or Diet Pepsi. Why not let there be one better choice available to everyone?

  • Abe ’14

    This was brought up when I was a freshman. Bottled water is a huge industry. It’s not going to stop because Cornell limits it on campus. So given that bottled water will continue to be made and put on the shelves, why restrict Cornellians who like bottled water from buying it? Selfish plan.