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Vanderbilt University Eliminates Plastic Single-Use Water Bottles


It is axiomatic that trends in ecology and environmental consciousness start in institutions of higher education. Vanderbilt University has established a program to eliminate plastic single-use water bottles on campus. Incoming and existing students, faculty and staff can purchase aluminum tumblers that can be refilled at stations throughout the campus. It is estimated that over a four-year baccalaureate program, the replacement initiative will displace 1.7 million plastic bottles used by the class of 2022.

The aluminum tumbler to be used by Vanderbilt is manufactured by the Ball Corporation. The Company will also extend availability to entertainment and sports venues. The statement from the company indicated “In addition to its sustainability and recycling strengths, the aluminum cup is sturdy, durable and cool to the touch and can be customized with logos and graphics”. The container is available in a 20-ounce size with additional volumes to become available based on demand.

Awareness of plastic waste and the problems of either recycling or disposal are becoming more prominent in mainstream and social media. Third-world nations that previously received compressed plastic waste are no longer accepting shipments placing the onus on industrialized countries to develop alternative packaging or recycling.