PTA Moves to Ban Water Bottle Sales

Take Back The Tap!


In October, the executive board voted to ban the sale of single-use water bottles at PTA fundraisers.  Check out the proposal to get details on why we took this important step and how it may impact PTA events and culture. And join us at the first Green Team meeting (10.15 820am in the Science room) to help execute this new initiative!

Proposal to eliminate the sale of single use water bottles by the PTA by 2016

It is time to stop selling single-use water bottles at PTA fundraisers. Many schools, parks, and colleges have banned bottles in an effort to reduce landfill waste and protect the environment.

  • Bottled water hurts the planet.After millions of barrels of oil are used to produce and ship plastic bottles, 75% land in the garbage or waterways instead of the recycle bin.
  • Bottled water is thousands of times more expensive than tap water.Compare $0.002 per gallon for most tap water to a range of $0.89 to $8.26 per gallon for bottled waters.
  • It takes more than 3 liters of water to produce each bottled liter of water. To many urban professionals (potential donors) bottled water symbolizes wastefulness.

Present and Future Costs: On top of taxing future generations—today’s students— who will have clean up the environmental mess, there are short term financial risks. Less than perfect PTA recycling practices could cost, potentially, hundreds of dollars in fines. Per the Sanitation Department, plastics must from a) separated from trash b) clean & c) set out in the appropriately marked bin or clear bags. Violations start at $100. and go up to $400. each; one event could trigger multiple fines. (16 RCNY §1-09(g)(2), (g)(1) It is the school’s responsibility—not the responsibility of the custodians—to sort, separate and clean recyclables.

Short-term Alternatives/How to Make Up for Unspecified Profit Loss

  • Give away tap water via 3-gallon Igloo dispensers (@$50. each) and sell $2. reusable “PTA of PS 372” cups ($.80-$.65 profit each) and insulated, branded water bottles (@$1. + profit each); This could generate roughly $300. per event. (Drinking from fountain would still be free.) Use items as prizes, gifts to build community + promote
  • Sell canned seltzer, mineral water for a slightly higher profit than we do now.
  • Sell lemon wedges, on toothpicks, 3 for $1. to complement water and other event beverages
  • Support the Science Team’s Litter Less campaign (2015-16), an international program which comes with a $500. stipend to reduce waste by 30%. ( )

Long-term infrastructure improvements—more taps, bottle refilling stations and filtered pitchers—would likely be fundable by future grants.

Do you have more ideas? Post a comment or send a note to Thank you!

Sources: Food & Water WatchThe Water ProjectKids National Geographic; Hydrate LifeBan the Bottle; The NYC DOE Sustainability Initiative