State Rep. Perry Warren plans to introduce legislation that will require newly constructed state-owned government buildings to install water bottle filling stations. Warren’s work began when a summer intern regularly studied the overuse of plastic water bottles.

The filling stations will include a vertical nozzle above the basin where an individual can fill a container with water. The expectation is to make resident’s life more convenient by providing a chance to refill water containers instead of a single-use plastic bottle.

A water bottle filling fountain next to a standard fountain

Rep. Warren is a member of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and hopes to “find an alternative to our heavy use of plastic bottles.”

Warren’s inspiration for the legislation came from a constituent and summer intern. She had a particular concern about the “widespread” use of plastic water bottles.

“She raised the issues,” Warren explained. “We did the research and provided data that there are an estimated 46 thousand (water) bottles per square mile in the ocean.”

The intern helped along the way with Warren and office personnel to provide a local level initiative. After consideration, Warren decided the best solution would be a “positive as opposed to a negative.” The legislation will be written in a way to encourage the use of plastic bottle alternatives instead of something such as banning the plastic bottles all together.

The cost of installing the water bottle filling stations will be determined on a per-project basis, however, Warren believes the benefit of limiting the use of plastic bottles outweighs the financial costs while saving people money through reusing one bottle instead of constantly buying more plastic bottles.