KID REPORTERS’ NOTEBOOK
Reducing the Use of Plastic Water Bottles
Every year, school districts spend millions of dollars on plastic water bottles. Now, two high school seniors are pushing their school district to spend their money elsewhere.
Anna Rychlik and Chantal Raguin recently started “Get On Tap.” The movement encourages students to reduce their reliance on bottled water. Instead, the teens say: Use your school’s water fountains.
The movement originally started as an English project. “We both saw that there were a lot of issues with waste relating to bottled water at our school,” Anna said. “We saw bottled water as an unnecessary resource our school was putting money into.”
Anna and Chantal asked their high school, Acton-Boxborough in Massachusetts, to initiate a policy minimizing the use of bottled water.
“Plastic water bottles are mostly made of PT plastic 1, which contains phthalates [THAL-ates],” Anna said. “Phthalates can leech into the water if not cooled properly from the time the water was bottled to the time you are drinking it.”
Plastic water bottles are also harmful from a financial standpoint. “Schools spend lots of unnecessary money on bottled water and refrigerating bottled water,” Anna pointed out.
RAISING AWARENESS AMONG KIDS
“Our goal is to discontinue the sale of bottled water in all school cafeterias and make some guidelines for people bringing bottled water into our school district for school dances and other events,” Chantal said.
Anna and Chantal are trying to educate students at a young age. To help spread their message, they recently did presentations at local elementary schools. They invited speakers and screened a documentary.
“We hope to make using natural resources and staying away from plastic water bottles a part of kids’ lives early on,” Anna said.