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.