A.S. Pres. Spearheads Ban on Water Bottles

A.S. President Wafa Ben Hassine is working with Housing, Dining and Hospitality and University Centers to ban the sale of all plastic water bottles on campus by the end of Spring Quarter. Ben Hassine first introduced her project — to ban the bottles at dining halls, marketplaces and vendors in Price Center — at last week’s March 30 council meeting.

The initiative was part of Ben Hassine’s platform when she ran as a presidential candidate last year. She said she got the idea after she noticed how many students use plastic water bottles, despite the presence of hydrations stations that provide alternative ways of providing clean water.

“I noticed that students were using a lot of plastic water bottles, which creates a lot of wastes on the local and global level,” Ben Hassine said.

Ben Hassine sent out a petition to the student body to raise awareness about the initiative. She hopes the petition — along with three-week-long educational campaign co-sponsored with the Student Sustainability Center — will help students understand environmental impacts of using plastic water bottles.

“The three-week campaign will educate students about the perils of using plastic water bottles,” Ben Hassine said. “It will educate students on why the policy is being put into place and it will include a film screening, giveaways, informational booths and presentations.”

Ben Hassine also wants to work with University Centers and HDH to install more hydration stations and water fountains, providing locations to fill up reusable water bottles. She also wants to ban Styrofoam from vendors in Price Center, make sure there are compostable packing options and encourage on-campus coffee shops to provide mugs for students who don’t need their drink to go.

The initiative has garnered the support of UCSD administrators.

“I’ve had positive feedbacks from the chancellor and from [HDH Director] Mark Cunningham,” Ben Hassine said. “But Mark has mentioned that, although he supports the idea, there is the monetary problem of how much in sales HDH will lose if water bottles are banned.”

Ben Hassine will meet with HDH in the coming weeks to discuss HDH’s affordability in supporting the ban.

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