The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
Cutting Edge Online Payment Technologies in 2024
April 16, 2024

Businesses worldwide are quickly embracing advanced payment methods to stay ahead in the tight market competition. These methods not only...

CSU student starts petition to ban bottled water

Sparkling-bottled-waterBanning bottled water is one student’s solution to making CSU a greener university.

According to the award-winning documentary “Tapped,” the bottled water industry is not what it seems, and after beginning a Masters program in watershed science, graduate student Alex Niepoth couldn’t agree more.


On March 5, Niepoth organized a screening of the documentary. His goal was to educate students on issues surrounding the sale of bottled water. The screening, however, was only one small step to a much larger initiative — to remove bottled water sales from CSU entirely.

Niepoth started a student petition to make this a reality.

“(CSU is) renowned for our green initiatives and I think that it’s kind of silly to not think of the smaller impacts that people can make throughout campus to make the green initiatives greener,” Niepoth said.

The petition would push for President Tony Frank to renegotiate the contract between CSU and Coca-Cola to exclude the sale of bottled water. The 10-year, $5.2 million contract was signed in 2011 with a large portion of the funding set aside for research on water stewardship and conservation, according to a University press release.

To Niepoth, the most important aspect of the petition is to educate students.

“In all reality, I really just want to emphasize awareness because a lot of people just don’t know the issues,” Niepoth said. “I was oblivious to it eight months ago.”

According to “Tapped,” the bottled water industry contributes to environmental devastation, the privatization of water and depletion of natural resources for transport.

Every year Americans buy approximately 29 billion bottles of water, according to, and Niepoth says that only 30 percent of that is recycled.

So far, Niepoth received mixed responses to the petition. In one day Niepoth collected 340 signatures. Various bicycle shops also donated 50 reusable water bottles to the cause. However, not all responses were positive.


“One guy just sort of threw his Smart Water bottle in the air and said, ‘No thanks I don’t want to support that,’ and another guy (that started to walk away) said, ‘I don’t have any money,’” he said. “I think we need to start wearing shirts that say, ‘We don’t want your money.’”

According to Niepoth, in order for the petition to reach Tony Frank for consideration, his team must get signatures from at least 10 percent, of the student population — approximately 2,800 signatures.

While he acknowledges that eliminating the sale of bottled water from campus is not a magic bullet solution, Niepoth said that he believes it’s a start.

“It’s a small piece to a big puzzle,” he said. “You still have plastics being distributed across campus and various other forms, but it’s also a step towards saying ‘We’re going to reduce our plastic, but we’re not going to support bottled water production,’ and that’s a huge step.”

For more information on the bottled water industry you can visit Niepoth plans to gain more signatures during Earth Week around April 22.

Collegian Reporter Natasha Leadem can be reached at

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *