Effective, efficient, eco-friendly: On April 19, the Vanguard published an Op Ed that said “Safe, biological alternatives to plastics require massive R&D, which will only be considered a financial investment once revenues from current products begin to drop.” [“Don’t ban the bottle,” April 19]
Effective, efficient, eco-friendly
On April 19, the Vanguard published an Op Ed that said “Safe, biological alternatives to plastics require massive R&D, which will only be considered a financial investment once revenues from current products begin to drop.” [“Don’t ban the bottle,” April 19] Have you noticed the Dasani water bottles with the green lids? These plastic bottles are the latest development in packaging by Coca-Cola. The bottles are made from up to 30 percent plant material and are fully recyclable. The PlantBottle was developed prior to a drop in revenue so that argument does not hold the proverbial water.
The anti-bottled water faction worries about plastic waste. While the knee-jerk reaction to addressing environmental waste in the private sector involves a distant and expensive middleman imposing legislation, individuals can accomplish the same goals without increased federal debt, risks of loopholes or other regulatory side effects. By rediscovering the influence of our already-existing roles of free-market consumers, we can initiate the creative implementation of sustainable products and practices.
The idea behind this form of environmentalism is simple: If we reward companies which share our environmental goals by choosing to purchase their more sustainable products and services over the more harmful alternatives of their competition, we will create a marketplace where the community’s goal of environmental sustainability is aligned with the business’s goal of profit.
While the goal to reduce the use of plastics harmful to the environment is a good one, supporting a solution will require more than simply condemning current products. Because the demand for water bottles remains, a better option may be to stock vending machines with more environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional PET plastic bottles. Here is where a container like the PlantBottle comes in to play. Though there is still some impact, the PlantBottle can be recycled by traditional means, thereby reducing the overall use of plastic while allowing for the reuse of what plastic there is in the bottle. Instead of struggling to avoid water bottles all together, we can show support for products like this PlantBottle, which are a big step towards an eco-friendly solution.
To educate students and faculty on recycling, and in support of this alternative method of environmental activism, we participated in our Earth Day event by asking students and faculty to sign a petition that asked university officials to continue funding recycling efforts. We also asked to have more recycling containers throughout campus. We also urge PSU to not only continue to fund our existing recycling division, PSU Recycles, but to expand the program to better service campus.
All it takes is a little conscious consumerism and unity in support for green innovations.
Everyone can play a role in changing our impact on the environment into a positive one. We just have to remember that there are multiple ways to approach it, and that our individual roles within the natural free market system should not be underestimated.