At some point, plastic water bottles were a blessing. People were finally able to transport clean, fresh water from point a to point b. But somewhere down the line, plastic water bottles usefulness came into question and the truth behind plastic water bottles came out—they are wasteful and bad for your health.
According to The Water Project, 80% of all single use water bottles become litter. It can take an estimated 1,000 years for a plastic water bottle to biodegrade, and when they are incinerated, toxic fumes are released.
Due to an experiment by Dr. Patricia Hunt, she discovered that plastic bottles and containers that contain BPA link to cancer, birth defects and reduced fertility. Leaving plastic water bottles in the sun can also increase the amount of BPA.
BPA is the chemical known as bisphenol-a and is found is in many plastics that are often used to store food or drinks.
The negatives of using plastic water bottles drastically outweighs the benefits, so the solution—reusable water bottles. Reusable water bottles come in all sizes and colors, and when looking around campus, it is clear that they are popular. Brightly colored bottles are strapped to backpacks and carried by students.
The most common and popular kinds seen around campus are Hydro Flask’s and S’wells. The price of these bottles can range from $20 to $60. Although the price is high, the water bottles come with different benefits other than just holding water.
Hydro Flasks keep water cold for 24 hours and hot water hot for 6 hours. You can buy different lids, ranging from a straw lid to a screw top. S’wells come in unique patterns and a distinct shape.
Students add their own personal touch to the water bottles, decorating them with stickers of all sorts.
“All Hydro Flasks look the same… and [adding stickers] gives you a way to express yourself,” said freshman Cydney Melton while sporting her red, sticker covered Hydro Flask.
To encourage students to use reusable water bottles, the ASI Board of Directors partnered with Cal Poly to install 25 Brita Hydration Stations all around campus during the spring of 2015. On every hydration station, it tells you how much water bottles are being saved.
“It’s incredible seeing how many plastic water bottles have been saved by using the water filtration system. Every time I use it I feel proud to have my reusable water bottle and it encourages me to bring it everyday,” said freshman Cooper Horwitz.
On December 30, 2016 the City of San Luis Obispo decided to conduct a study to ban plastic water bottles, similarly to San Francisco’s ban. SLO is also trying to install more hydration stations, each one costing from $2000 to $3000.
Carrying around a reusable water bottle isn’t different because most students at SLO are rocking their reusable water. Join the trend and get a fashionable water bottle to sport around campus. Now you can sip, guilt free.