News & Media

News & Media

May 19, 2009

A Bottled Water Ban Inconveniences A Graduation

Washington University got a taste of the inconvenience a bottled water ban causes during its graduation ceremony on Friday.

The school has a ban on bottled water sales and distribution on campus, which was temporarily lifted for commencement, the St. Louis Post Dispatch said.  WashU spokeswoman Sue McGinn told reporter Kavita Kumar that the school typically has 15,000 bottles of water on hand for graduation day.  For graduation this year, though, the school only had 4,000 bottles on hand, and only for guests.

“We will have limited amounts of bottled water available for our guests from around the world who may not be aware of our commitment to decreasing bottled water usage,” a note sent to students and faculty said.

Students were still encouraged to bring their own water if they thought they would be thirsty.

Our take: If the school wants to send a message to students that a ban is necessary because of plastic’s impact on the environment, though we don’t agree with that move, either ban bottled water or do not.  Bringing back a healthy beverage – one of thousands of food products packaged in plastics – only in times when it is  convenient sends the wrong message.  Bottled water has a place in the beverage industry, and sometimes it takes a ban to recognize that.

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters. Founded in 1958, IBWA's membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, and state governments to set stringent standards for safe, high quality bottled water products. Additionally, IBWA requires member bottlers to adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Model Code is an annual plant inspection by an independent, third party organization.

For more information about IBWA, bottled water and a list of member‚ brands, please contact
Chris Hogan, IBWA‚ Vice President of Communications at 703-647-4609 or [email protected].

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