Pugh Auditorium was abuzz with discussion after the closing credits of Tapped on January 25, 2011. The film screening, which officially began the university’s “Choose to Reuse” campaign, drew a diverse audience from university departments and the wider Winston-Salem community.
Tapped explores the bottled water industry and brings into question the marketing campaign that resulted in the sale of nearly 8.5 billion single serving bottles of water in the US in 2009.
The film focuses on the fundamental human right to clean drinking water.. The filmmakers explore several key issues, including the bottled water industry’s extraction, export and resale of ground water and the bottling and distribution of municipal tap water at a 2000 percent mark-up. According to the film over 40% of bottled water comes from municipal sources.
The film also brings to light the negative health effects caused by the production of PET(E) plastics used in single-use plastic bottles.
Response to the screening was as diverse as the audience members themselves. A few criticized the university’s decision to screen the film given what they perceived to be an overt anti-corporation message. Others left the screening alarmed by what they had learned and ready to make changes.. Either way, audience members left with more information upon which to make consumer choices.
The “Choose to Reuse” campaign is designed to help students make informed decisions and to consider the power they have as consumers. The first 50 audience members at the Tapped screening received free reusable water bottles, courtesy of Great Outdoor Provision Company. More activities and programs designed to educate students about the issues surrounding consumer choices are planned for the rest of the semester. Many activities will provide further opportunities to win free re-usable bottles.
“There are so many documentaries and television shows focusing on environmental problems that are just too big to tackle, it can seem overwhelming,” senior Frannie Speer, the Office of Sustainability Choose to Reuse intern, said. “Choosing a reusable water bottle is an easy, doable first-step in reducing our personal waste footprint.”
By Caitlin Brooks, Communications and Outreach Intern
Read more about the Choose to Reuse Campaign:
For more information, check out these informative links:
The Story of Stuff: A short film about the issues surrounding bottled water consumption