Simple solutions to bottle battle
I am a Grade 6 student at Chantrell Creek Elementary.
My class is studying the terrible effects of disposable water bottles on our environment. I was shocked by how much damage they do. My friend and I made a video about what it means to our community.
You can view our video by searching “Unbottle My Water” on YouTube.com or by clicking the link in my letter at www.peacearchnews.com/opinion/letters/
I have also thought about a way government can reduce waste from bottled water in our schools and public buildings – and it isn’t to remove vending machines.
I have noticed that most public buildings have water fountains, and I know that all my friends have lots of sports water bottles. So, I wondered, why do we see so many plastic water bottles thrown away?
Well, have you ever tried to fill a water bottle from a water fountain, the kind with that mushroom shaped bubbler? You can’t. If you try filling your bottle at the sink in the bathroom, it’s hard and also kind of gross.
That’s why thirsty people and kids buy bottled water from vending machines.
Did you know that in B.C. we throw away 130 million plastic water bottles every year?
Here are some more facts I learned about bottled water:
• 900 million water bottles are used in Canada each year;
• just one in ﬁve water bottles is recycled in B.C.; and
• it take 700 years for a water bottle to decompose.
I have thought of a solution that is simple and will cost our governments and schools nothing.
As each contract for vending machines comes up, the new contract should require the winner to replace the old “bubbler” fountains with tall water-bottle taps in all the buildings where they have vending machines.
Also, require them to put their vending machines close to water fountains, if they aren’t already, so everyone will be encouraged to reﬁll their own bottles.
The companies still get to keep their machines in schools and facilities – they could even say they are part of the solution – and the best part would be that our schools and facilities would still get the vending-machine income while promoting the use of reﬁllable bottles.
Making my video made me realize we can reduce the problem and it could be as simple as changing a few taps.
I have sent this letter and copies of my video to my mayor, MLA and MP because my friends and I think something should be done.
This is a simple, inexpensive way for us to reduce plastic-bottle waste and set an example for others.
Andrew Bishop, Surrey