Did you know that today we have a plastic vortex, twice the size of Texas floating around in the ocean, mostly consisting of plastic water bottles? This “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is the result of our society’s lack of motivation to recycle plastic bottles. In fact, only twelve percent of plastic bottles are recycled and forty million bottles go into the trash per day. This demand for plastic water bottles is not going down, as leading brands such as Arrowhead, Aquafina, SmartWater, Dasani, and Fiji have all spent millions on strategic advertising. This specialization of different bottled water had lead to disillusionment by customers, often purchased with the incorrect notion that the water they are buying is cleaner than the water coming out of their tap. In fact, bottled water is often times less clean than tap water and more expensive as well.
Recently, an AP Environmental Science class from Diamond Bar High School has recognized the “plastic water-bottle” problem in our world and has created a non-profit organization known as Bottles for Benefit. Their mission is to change the public’s perception of tap water and promote the benefits of using reusable water-bottles.
President of Bottles for Benefit, Norbert Tsi stated, “Our goal is to revert ourselves to our former state of mind, cut our usage of single-use water bottles, and promote the reuse instead of recycle idea. To do this, we’re introducing Brahma Bottles to the High School community and beyond, as well as with installing water bottle refilling stations around campus to allow easy accessibility to refilling stations for both students and teachers. We also aim to improve the lives of those that are impacted by the single use water bottle culture, directly or indirectly, by transitioning to a cleaner, more environmentally friendly system that will benefit the future generations to come.”
The organization orchestrated several events to promote their goals. At Diamond Bar High School, Daniel Vasquez, senior, led a rally filled with surprises, from games to theatrics and even singing. “After speaking to students at the high school, I was really encouraged by student’s new awareness of the problems associated with plastic water bottles,” Sarah Susanto, a sophomore at DBHS said. “The rally was really fun. I never knew how destructive water bottles were to our environment. I went and bought a reusable Brahma Bottle as soon as the rally was over.”
After speaking to their fellow peers, several member of Bottles for Benefits went to Walnut Elementary School to speak about their cause.
“We played games with the kids and it was really fascinating to see how elementary students got so engaged with an environmental topic,” Tsi said. “Its nice to speak to different demographics. We had fun creating different ways to approach all different types of people.”
After covering this group, I was convinced, and finally bought a reusable water bottle. I look forward to being a more environmentally conscious citizen. This group of students has taught me about the impact that an individual can have on nature just by reusing a water bottle!