Q:  At my friend’s school, they have a ban on disposable plastic water bottles.  Why doesn’t the Office of Sustainability push for a ban on disposable plastic water bottles here?

A:  Well, we have thought about it.  Many universities have adopted a ban on disposable plastic water bottles on their campuses and we respect their approach to this issue. However, we have decided to pursue a different approach, for several reasons.

First, we make a tremendous effort to make reusable water bottles a convenient choice for all Wake Forest students, staff, and faculty.  At present there are six hydration stations located in high traffic areas around campus.  These stations are designed to facilitate the use of reusable water bottles and to keep a running count of how many disposable water bottles each unit keeps from ending up in the landfill.

Second, we see our role as providing the information members of our campus community need to make their own decisions – information on the environmental, financial, and health impacts of bottled water. The theoretical free hand of the market requires good information to function. Third, hydration is important for health. You should always carry a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go, but, if you forget yours, it is healthier to consume a disposable plastic bottle of water than a disposable plastic bottle of soda. Email us your thoughts at sustainability@wfu.edu.