College puts kibosh on bottled water sales on campus

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WALLA WALLA -- Whit-man College and its food service provider, Bon Appetit, will no longer sell bottled water on campus, including in vending machines and at various points of sale. This policy follows the work by the Whitman Sustainability Committee's "Take Back the Tap" campaign.

"This is both a practical and symbolic step for Whitman to take in its sustainability efforts. The production of bottled water requires an enormous amount of petroleum to manufacture the plastic, and while many bottles can be recycled, many more end up in a landfill. Removing bottled water from campus vending machines and food service operations reduces our contribution to a system that harms the environment," said Sean Gehrke, associate director of residence life and housing and chair of the Sustainability Advisory Committee.

He said removing bottled water from these points of sale is "not equivalent to banning it on campus. There may be times when the use of bottled water is necessary, for example during a warm Commencement ceremony.

The committee encourages responsible decision-making around the use of bottled water for campus programs and events."

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