Students can fill up water bottles with a machine in the Journalism Building. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

Dear Editor:

As a member of the student body, I am painfully aware of the excessive bottled water consumption on campus. The privatization of water as well as the environmental damage that results is more than enough to warrant elimination. “Take Back the Tap” is a campaign run by the national organization Food Water Watch (FWW) with goals to do just that — eliminate the sale of bottled water on campus. However, this daunting task is not possible without the help of students.

We have the right to safe, clean and affordable water. The false belief that bottled water is better than tap is driving a multi-million dollar industry. This power given to the water bottle industry results in its ability to go into communities and sell the water they need for drinking water.

The production of single-use plastics is incredibly energy intensive and causes unconscionable amounts of waste, leaving behind a huge environmental footprint.

The goal to eliminate bottled water on campus aligns with Ohio State’s mission to make campus sustainable. According to FFW, 71 percent of plastic bottles are not recycled. As one of the largest public universities in the U.S., not only do we have the potential, but we have the responsibility to be a role model for other universities.

Recently, the Take Back the Tap campaign has experienced wins in NYU as well as in all 21 campuses of the California State University system. These campuses will soon eliminate all distribution and sale of bottled water on campus and join the more than 73 other campuses that have either fully or partially banned the sale of bottled water on campus.

Students and faculty are greatly urged to “Take Back the Tap” by making the choice to use refillable water bottles, as well as let the administration know where you stand by signing the Take Back the Tap petition.

Join this movement to fight back against the privatization of water and the environmental damages bottled water creates. Bottled water might sound like a small change in the path to sustainability, but the impact that this ban would have is a huge stride for our campus.

Sign the petition:



Emily Palsa

Take Back the Tap Fellow

Food & Water Watch