WSU joins campaign to ban bottled water

By Dawn Schuett

The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

WINONA — An expanding number of colleges and universities in the country are banning the sale of bottled water on their campuses, and some students at Winona State University are trying to convince more to join the list.

For two years, students in a persuasion class taught by Kelly Herold, associate professor of communication studies at WSU, have advocated for a ban on plastic beverage bottles.

They emphasized the "problems" related to the manufacture and disposal of plastic bottles while talking about a proposed ban to campus leaders at Winona State, the University of Minnesota, Minnesota State University, Mankato, and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.


A student who took the class, Adam Johnson of Spring Grove, said there wasn't enough support at WSU to get a ban adopted during the 2009-10 academic year, but progress is being made.

"Starting next year, all incoming freshmen are going to be receiving a reusable stainless steel or aluminum water bottle as part of their welcome package," Johnson wrote in an e-mail last week at the end of the semester. "Winona State has also begun offering aluminum cans as an alternative to plastic bottles through vending machines and in the dining facilities. We feel that these are wonderful first steps in promoting sustainability and reducing plastic waste."

According to the Container Recycling Institute , about 80 percent of the plastic water bottles that Americans buy are incinerated or end up in a landfill where it takes hundreds of years for them to decompose.

Bottled water also is a waste of money, student Adam Johnson said. Read about it in Tuesday's print edition.

Dawn Schuett is a Farmington freelance writer.

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