What You Need to Know About Recent Water Bottle Bans
It’s easy enough to tote around your own water bottle and fill it from the tap. So, it seems like removing single-use water bottles from vending machines and asking people to carry their own reusable bottles should a good step to cut down on waste while still allowing people to gulp a healthy amount of agua. No so much, according to new research published in the American Journal of Public Health. The move away from plastic bottles (which was supposed to be good for everyone’s health, including the environment’s) is supposedly having the opposite effect.
The study looked at a ban of bottled-water sales at the University of Vermont. The results: People consumed 25 percent more sugary drinks than they had when water bottles were available to purchase. They took in significantly more sugar, caffeine, and empty calories.
Cutting out plastic water bottles is a good idea in theory, but the thing is, people don’t go looking for a water fountain when bottles aren’t available, say researchers. Instead, they just tend to pick another drink to buy—which tends to be something less healthy than H2O.
But at least banning bottle is good for the planet, right? (Currently, Americans alone plow through 5.3 billion pounds of plastic from them every year.) Nope, the ban wasn’t even eco-friendly! The number of plastic bottles that got discarded actually went up too—by 8.5 percent.
Study authors suggest that rather than enforcing a ban, we should focus on making it easier to recycle. But if you want to be extra-good, get your hands on a reusable bottle (we love options from HydroFlask and S’well, which keep your water cool all day) and make a point to seek a tap or fountain rather than a vending machine.
Originally posted on Glamour.