November 12 to December, 2018
Take the Pledge today
Humber College's Office of Sustainability launched the #TakeBackTheTap campaign to raise awareness about the negative impacts of drinking from single-use plastic bottles and to encourage our community to commit to using reusable bottles filled with tap water instead.
In support of this campaign, the Office of Sustainability partnered with the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre to host an exhibit that highlighted the impacts single-use plastics are having on our waterways, the alternatives available, and ideas re: what can be done with those plastics already in existence.
Sign your name to the #TakeBackTheTap pledge today.
About the Exhibit
The #TakeBackTheTap exhibit was created by Humber's Office of Sustainability and the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre. For more information about the exhibit, continue reading below to Meet Spyro, experience a Timeline: The History of Water as a Commodity, learn about Alternatives to single-use plastic bottles, and discover more with Beyond the Bottle.
Spyro is a wooden frame in the shape of a whale's tail that was designed and constructed by the Office of Sustainability's Bradley Staite as part of their #TakeBackTheTap awareness campaign. The 8' tall structure was filled with empty single-use plastic water bottles that were collected at Humber College.
From the Office of Sustainability:
"We designed Spyro the Whale to educate people about the threat plastic poses to the health of our entire planet. Discarded plastic bottles from the Humber community make up the plastic inside Spyro, which is less than 1% of the total amount of plastic bottles that Humber disposes of annually. The #TakeBackTheTap campaign aims to reduce the consumption of bottled water and encourages our community to use reusable bottles while drinking tap water from refill stations instead."
Whales are typically named for the distinct patterns on their tails. Bradley selected "Spyro" based on combination of the spiral shape of the structure and the Spyro the Dragon video game he used to play.
Timeline: The History of Water as a Commodity
Natural spring water is sold in glass bottles for the first time
Demand for clean drinking water rises after chlorination of Toronto's municipal water reduces waterborne epidemics
Bottled water is sold in hard polystyrene plastic bottles for the first time but remains expensive
Invention of new polyethylene (PET) plastic makes bottled water affordable and popular
Bottled water companies earn $4 billion annually by appealing to consumers' demand for health and status
International leaders set goals to reduce plastic pollution in the midst of an environmental movement
PepsiCo and Nestle identify tap water as the source of their bottled water
The U.S. government reduces the maximum amount of plastic allowed in single-use bottles by 47%
The Ontario government stops issuing new permits to bottle the province's water
Eleven Ontario post-secondary institutions successfully ban bottled water on their campuses
Alexa Springs, 2016. History of Bottled water.
Ban the Bottle, 2018. Map of Campaigns.
CNN, 2007. Pepsi says Aquafina is tap water.
NY Times, 1990. N. C. Wyeth, Inventor, Dies at 78; Developed the Plastic Soda Bottle.
NY Times, 1999. Company news: Sale of a bottled water called Dasani is set.
OSWCA, 2001. Drinking water management in Ontario: A brief history.
Stockholm Convention, 2001. Overview.
The Council of Canadians Acting for Social Justice, 2018. Election survey says: Eliminate Ontario’s bottled water permits.
The Nimbus Project, 2013. History of Water Bottles Part 1.
What about Alternatives to Plastics?
Did you know that plastics do not decompose? Conservative estimates indicate that the common plastics in our world will take hundreds of years to degrade.
450+ years to degrade
500+ years to degrade
200+ years to degrade
450+ years to degrade
10+ years to degrade
Single-use polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottle.
Try carrying your own reusable water bottle!
Polyamide (PA) toothbrush.
Consider switching to a bamboo toothbrush!
Polypropylene (PP) straws.
Try reusable straws made from glass, metal, or bamboo - or ditch the straw altogether!
Try carrying your own reusable cutlery with you for on-the-go snacks and meals!
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) shopping bags.
Avoid that extra 5 cent charge on your groceries by bringing your own reusable bags!
jBoesler, M. (2013). Bottled water costs 2000 times as much as tap water. Business Insider.
Kane, C. (2016). 6 new products made from old plastic bottles. Time.
Manzocco, N., & Gray, V. (2017). 19 eco-conscious Toronto brands and trends we love. NOW Toronto.
Morgan, R. (2018). Amazing products made of trash: The resource of the future. CNBC.
She. J., & MacDonald, E. F. (2017). Exploring the effects of a product's sustainability triggers on pro-environmental decision-making. Journal of Mechanical Design, 140.
The sustainability imperative (2015). The Nielsen Company.
Wallace, D. (2018). How long does it take plastic to break down in the ocean? Infographic journal.
Beyond the Bottle
What can we do with all the single-use PET plastic water bottles already in existence? As part of the #TakeBackTheTap exhibit, we came across several companies who are repurposing those bottles for use in new products.
Ungalli Clothing Co. donated a tshirt to the #TakeBackTheTap exhibit that was made from 10 recycled PET plastic bottles. Our sincerest thanks to this Canadian company for their support!
Adidas' Parley running shoes are made from 11 recycled PET plastic bottles.
Oraki's stretch leggings are made from 12 recycled PET plastic bottles.
10 spools of Gütermann's polyester thread is made from 1 recycled PET plastic bottle.
Each pair of shoelaces from allbirds is made from 1 recyled PET plastic bottle.