Letter to the Editor
The U of A has done a phenomenal job of promoting green initiatives on campus through various recycling programs and other efforts, such as the “earth tubs” that recycle cafeteria food into compost. However, the green movement can sometimes get carried away.
The movement to ban the sale of plastic water bottles on some college campuses has gone too far. It would be over-reaching to assume that banning water bottles on campus would have an impact on the environment given the incredible success of the U of A and Coca-Cola’s recycling programs here.
In 2009, Coca-Cola opened a bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina that “will have the capacity to produce 100 million pounds of recycled PET plastic chips — enough to produce 2 billion 20-ounce bottles of Coke or Dasani or whatever (Greenbiz.com). At this plant, PET plastic isn’t just recycled back into new water and soda bottles. Recycled plastic becomes flooring, playground equipment and auto parts. It also becomes fibers for clothing, such as T-shirts and fleece jackets.
Environmentalists are concerned that water bottles fill up landfills with plastic that won’t decompose, but now there’s a new solution: The PlantBottle. This new bottle for Dasani water from Coca-Cola is made with up to 30 percent plant-based material. Coca-Cola is also working to develop a bottle composed of 100 percent plant-based materials.
According to Coca-Cola’s website, the PlantBottle is the only bottle made of plant materials, which is also 100 percent recyclable. I hope this new bottle will become available on our campus soon.
Small changes in our everyday lives like turning off the water when we brush our teeth are changes everyone can and should make. Students, faculty, and staff all play an integral role in ensuring the success of our recycling program. Corporate recycling campaigns and innovative, sustainable production go a long way to achieving green goals too.
JOHN S. GRAGG
Senior, Political Science/