The project temporarily banned the sale of disposable water bottles in Java Joint and DK’s after students distributed a petition to support the initiative in the fall and garnered 200 signatures.
Green Team member Jennifer Pantelios’19 says that the college’s food service provider purchases between 24 to 30 cases of various water brands per week, with about 20 bottles per case. That adds up to at least 480 plastic bottles brought onto campus each week, though Pantelios notes that departments do not exclusively buy water from the food service, so the number could actually be much higher.
Reducing waste was not the only reason behind this initiative.
“We are focusing on disposable water bottles because we have clean, drinkable tap water in Beloit, and I want students to take advantage of that,” Pantelios says.
The city of Beloit tests tap water frequently, and holds stricter standards for its quality and cleanliness than many water bottle companies, she says.
While the team has considered working to end all plastic bottle sales on campus, Pantelios says such an effort would be much more complicated. For now, the Green Team’s initiative has gotten members of the Beloit community thinking about how they consume water and the impact disposable water bottles can have on the planet.