The companies say billions of bottles of water are consumed globally every year, and less than 20 percent are recycled. The Vapur Refill Stations encourage students and faculty to use reusable bottles, according to Vapur, which makes reusable “Anti-Bottles” that are BPA-free. The water stations’ design makes it easier to refill reusable bottles, compared to traditional drinking fountains.
Campuses rolling out the program include the University of California – Riverside, the California Institute of Technology, Illinois State University, Guilford College, University of California – Los Angeles and Southwestern College.
UCLA’s Green Initiative Fund paid for the $38,000 project on its campus, which includes installing three motion sensor-operated stations and adding water-bottle refillers to 25 existing water fountains, the Daily Bruin reports. The project is expected to be completed by Earth Day, April 22. After the stations are installed, the two companies will pass out Vapur Anti-Bottles.
Colleges and universities installing the refilling stations receive wholesale pricing on the stations and Vapur’s Anti-Bottles. On-campus marketing campaigns will promote the stations and their locations, and encourage reusable water bottles.
Glacier National Park and Sequoia National Park have also installed Vapur Refill Stations.
As of last March, in a move that may hurt the $22 billion US packaged-water industry, more than 90 educational institutions including Brown, Harvard and the University of Vermont had banned the sale of or restricted use of plastic water bottles on campus.
In 2012 food and drink manufacturer Danone announced it was partnering with biotech company Avantium to produce bio-based plastic bottles made from renewable material. A year earlier, Danone’s Evian brand moved to a lighter bottle made of up to 50 percent recycled PET.