Central Michigan University Group Aims to Ban Bottled Water Sales
Sam Schleich wants to show students drinking water doesn’t need to come in little plastic bottles.
The Illinois senior is president of Take Back the Tap, a new registered student organization started at Central Michigan University after an internship she had with Food and Water Watch in Chicago. Schleich wanted to stay involved in the company’s efforts to providing safe and affordable water for everyone.
With two Nestle nearby, both of which distribute bottled water, Central Michigan University was the perfect place to begin, she said.
“It is important to bring the fight to where it’s happening, and college campuses are where change begins,” Schleich said.
The ultimate goal of the organization, which is part of a nationwide movement, is to eliminate the sale of bottled water at CMU. Schleich said they are not only harmful to the environment and people’s health, but they also take away sources of water from those who need it.
“If anything, we want to educate CMU students of the benefits of tap water and the risks behind bottled water,” Scleich said. “There is no good reason to have bottled water on campus.”
Krista Testolin, an Iron Mountain freshman, is a member of Take Back and feels passionately about helping the environment. She said water bottle production lacks regulation, which leads to issues in health and various ecosystems.
“We want to raise awareness and get the word out there about our cause,” Testolin said. “It may seem like a small step in the grand scheme of things, but eliminating water bottles would make a huge impact.”
Some students across campus are beginning to support the idea out of economic as well as ecological concerns.
Dustin Goncharoff said it takes relatively little effort to help the cause. The Dearborn junior uses a CamelBak, a refillable backpack with attached straw used to store drinking water.
“The water we get from the tap is reasonably good, and there is no need to waste money and effort on bottled water,” Goncharoff said.
Erika Schrand, a sophomore from Avoca, said she was enthused by the organizations’s efforts.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Schrand said. “Water bottles are so unnecessary and they usually end up in the garbage anyway.”