Mission Vista HS Welcomes PathWater; Reduces Plastic Waste
September 11th, 2019
Students at Mission Vista High School were greeted with surprise guests at lunch time on Monday, September 9th. Music boomed and they heard voices talking about reducing plastic waste, reusable water bottles, and trivia about the environment as correct answers saw t-shirts launched into the air aimed at lucky winners.
The event was a visit from PathWater, a young startup company that produces bottled water. But these bottles stand out from the rest in that they are sleek aluminum, making them recyclable AND reusable. The bottles are a new item becoming available at a number of VUSD schools.
THE PLASTIC PROBLEM
The plastic problem is well known. People of all ages are more aware of their impact on the planet’s limited resources. Unfortunately, sustainable practices aren’t yet mainstream. Take water: the average American uses 167 plastic bottles every year, but 77% of those end up in landfills or the ocean.
PathWater is on a mission to reduce that number, and to provide an alternative that can make a difference. Co-founder and CEO Shadi Bakour says, “If we can reduce that number [from 167] to 1 per month, it would be a massive reduction in plastic waste.”
The big benefit is that aluminum water bottles are reusable (it’s not recommended to reuse disposable plastic water bottles). They’re highly recyclable, using five times less energy to recycle than plastic. Aluminum also does not leak chemicals into the water, which can happen with plastic. The cherry on top is that aluminum preserves the water temperature, keeping water cool for hours.
PathWater’s bottles will sell at WaveCrest Cafe locations for $1.50. And while that’s more than the standard price of $.50 for plastic bottled water, the reusable water bottle can be used again and again, saving students (and staff) money in the long run, while also reducing waste and keeping campuses cleaner.
Aluminum seems to be a win for sustainability, health, and convenience, but its adoption may come down to appearance. “Path Water bottles look cool, and that makes kids want to use them,” says Kumar. “But there’s so much more behind it. A person with a reusable bottle is making a commitment to live a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.” They’re helping take care of the planet – even if they don’t realize it.