Bottled Water Ban

Global problem: The UN Environment Programme posits that there are over 46,000 pieces of plastic floating any given square mile of the oceans. Producing plastic bottles, which end up as waste in oceans or landfills, requires the yearly energy equivalent of 50 million barrels of oil.

Local solution: In 2011 Macalester instituted its Bottled Water Ban. Since then bottled water has not been available from campus vendors or vending machines. Instead, Macalester encourages students, faculty, and staff to fill up reusable bottles at refill stations.

How we’re doing: In Summer 2013, Sustainability Student Assistants surveyed campus for water fountains that could be potential sites for more refill stations. Facilities Services used the survey to install even more automatic stations as well as gooseneck spigots in campus buildings.

Bottled Water Campaign at Macalester College:  A Case Study
A report prepared by Clare Pillsbury, 2012.