By Genevieve Mills–
Following recent efforts to make the university’s campus a greener place, a proposal has been made to decrease the amount of plastic bottles that are used and thrown away on campus. This proposal, brought to the Jan. 9th faculty senate meeting for comment, suggested a fee of five cents on every plastic bottle sold through vending machines on campus.
The Sustainability Council and the student group called Group Recycling And Sustainable Solutions, or GRASS, created this proposal. The fee would begin in spring of this year, and the money earned from it, estimated $22,000 a year, would go towards creating stations around campus to refill water bottles, thus encouraging students to reuse bottles instead of buying new ones, and throwing the old ones away, creating more trash generated by U of L.
These stations are described as, “Water filling stations range in cost and quality from simple gooseneck spouts added onto existing drinking fountains ($200) to new stations with touch-less sensors and digital counters displaying the number of bottles saved ($2000+)” by the “Proposal for a Plastic Bottle Fee at the University of Louisville.” They would make it easier for students to bring a water bottle to campus and refill it throughout the day without having to buy more water from a vending machine.
The proposal points out that Louisville has some of the best tap water in the nation, having won awards at a national level, and known as the cleanest and best tasting. The proposal suggests that the added fee on vending machine bottles would eventually make it easier for students to make the cheaper choice of drinking free water that is just as healthy as most bottled water.
The proposal could be approved by Provost Shirley Willihnganz without consent from students or faculty, but it was brought up at the faculty senate meeting for campus and senate input. Faculty senators did agree with the proposal at the meeting.
Students should look for the plastic bottle fee that could be implemented this spring, and following it, new places throughout campus to fill their water bottles.