May 31, 2019 submitted by Bev Vernon
Citing the negative environmental impacts of bottled water, a group of elementary school students from Hingham will propose banning the sale of water in the town's schools during the June 3rd School Committee meeting.
Students spent the last two weeks conducting research and developing a presentation detailing the reasons why the school system should stop selling bottled water and identifying alternatives. In their presentation to the School Committee, the students will highlight the fact that plastics in the marine environment don't biodegrade, but instead break into smaller pieces and harm marine life. They will also argue that plastic water bottles contribute to greenhouse gas emissions as a result of their production, transport, and recycling.
Students estimate that each of the four elementary schools sells approximately 100 bottles of water every day, or more than 70,000 bottles during the entire school year. This number does not take into consideration sales of bottled water at the middle or high schools.
Their request comes on the heels of the town's recent vote at Town Meeting to support the municipal plastic bag ban. The request also builds upon student-led efforts earlier this year to reduce the use of plastic straws in the cafeteria at East School. That proposal resulted in a school-wide presentation on the environmental impacts of straws in the marine environment and a decrease in the number of students using plastic straws at lunch.
The Hingham School Committee will meet at 7:00 PM on June 3rd in the School Department Conference Room located at 220 Central Street.