Aquinas overdue to “Take Back the Tap”

Story by Jane Johnston, Reporter
Photo courtesy of

Over 70 colleges and universities have imposed full or partial bans on the distribution of plastic water bottles, according to Food & Water Watch. This is all part of an initiative called Take Back the Tap, which encourages college campuses to drink tap water instead of using plastic water bottles that end up in landfills polluting our earth.

Currently, there is no full or partial ban on water bottles at Aquinas. Junior Greta Barager and AQ’s Sustainability program are trying to change that. Barager, alongside Seniors Kari Makarewicz and Alex Karatkiewicz, began pushing for the ban last fall when Makarewicz was working with Food & Water Watch. They spent much of the last year collecting signatures of students who were willing to endorse this movement, and were successful in gaining just under 15% of the school’s support.

Barager has high hopes for this 2016-2017 school year. They will spend much of this semester collecting more signatures, then use the rest of the year bringing their proposal to Student Senate and eventually pushing for a full ban by the end of the year.

When asked why sustainability is so important to her, Greta said she “wants to make the next generation’s experience better than [hers],” and feels it is “so important to have what we have for as long as we can.” Getting rid of plastic water bottles is a simple way do just that.

But saving the earth is not the only reason you should want to turn to tap. With the wide variety of reusable water bottles available right here on campus at the bookstore, it can be a great way to showcase your personality.

It’s also a lot cheaper. According to a 2007 report by Food & Water Watch, tap water costs about $0.0002/gallon, compared to  between $.89 and $8.26/gallon for bottled water. I don’t know about you, but saving money is something I think every college student can get behind.

If you want to get involved with the initiative, or commit to not using plastic water bottles, you can contact Barager, Makarewicz, or Karatkiewicz. You can also like the initiative’s Facebook page, and make sure to look out for Take Back the Tap events throughout the school year.

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