NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After a recent push to ban plastic bags, straws, and bottles in New York, some local leaders are working to get the city’s high school students involved.
Students at Sunset Park High school showed off their brand new reusable water bottles.
“I never really thought about it but when you think about it you’re not gonna be wasting all that plastic,” Daisy Palaguachi said.
More than 320,000 bottles made by S’well were donated to all New York City high schools throughout all five boroughs on Monday.
“The goal is really to extend our mission to rid the world of plastic bottles and we couldn’t help but think the best way to do that is to tap into the city’s future leaders,” S’well Vice President Kendra Peavy said.
The company partnered with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Sustainability for the new “Bring It” campaign. They’re asking students to ditch the plastic and spread the word to their families and friends.
“To empower them with actual tools that they can bring and take to make better and more informed decisions,” Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, said.
The city says it’s goal in doing this is to try and get rid of 54 million single-use plastic bottles.
“About 167 water bottles are used by the average American every year, and so it’s important to say by using a reusable water bottle we could displace that many from going into the waste stream every year,” Chambers said.
But will students actually keep up with the reusable bottles? Or will it just be another item lost in the sea of supplies in their backpack?
“Some of them are really used to drinking bottled water but I just encourage them and remind them New York City tap water is really quite good,” science teacher and sustainability coordinator Katie McCarthy said.
“Knowing that you’re making a small change can turn into something bigger in the future,” student Alexandra Capistran said. “You don’t have to spend all your money buying water bottles every day.”
Sunset Park High School now also has a newly installed water bottle filler for that very purpose. They say the bottles also keep students from getting up during class to get a sip of water at the fountains.
The bottles donated Monday range in price from $19 to $35, and the campaign is part of the city’s ultimate goal of sending zero waste to landfills by the year 2030.