The City estimates that S’well’s donation will help save approximately 54 million single-use plastic bottles from incinerators and landfills this year. (Photo by Deidre Schoo / Mayoral Photo Office)

New York’s high school students are about to play a huge role in reducing the City’s waste.

Thanks to S’well, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and the NYC Department of Education, every public high school student across the City is receiving a free reusable S’well bottle this year.

The S’well bottle giveaway is a part of the City’s new BRING IT sustainability campaign, which is focused on helping City students and their families reduce waste in their schools and homes. BRING IT hopes that the giveaway of over 320,000 reusable bottles to City high school students will help reduce the amount of single-use plastic used by City residents by almost 54 million bottles.

BRING IT builds on the City’s ambitious Zero Waste Challenge, which seeks to reduce the amount of City waste being sent to landfills and incinerators to zero by 2030.

“To reach our goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2030, we have to upend our whole way of doing things,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio when announcing the launch of BRING IT. “The BRING IT campaign will help create a cleaner, fairer city for all by empowering youth to lead the way. We’re proud to partner with a New York City company, S’well, to get this off the ground.”

“We are so proud to be a part of BRING IT, and we know New York City students are ready to be leaders in creating a cleaner and more sustainable City,” added Chancellor Richard Carranza. “I thank our partners at the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and S’well for empowering our students to make a difference, and for making us an important part of the efforts towards the City’s goal of zero waste.”

Single-use plastic bottles, which are not biodegradable, are a major source of preventable waste in New York, the U.S., and around the world. Experts estimate that 500 billion plastic bottles are used around the world every year, and that the majority of them are not recycled. In addition, plastic water bottle production requires oil; here in the U.S., almost 1.5 million barrels of oil are used a year to produce approximately 50 billion plastic bottles—that’s enough oil to power 250,000 homes or 100,000 cars all year long.

BRING IT hopes that by encouraging New Yorkers to adopt waste-reducing behaviors and products like S’well’s reusable water bottles, the City can get closer to achieving its Zero Waste goals. This year, BRING IT will engage and mobilize NYC public school students through a wide range of programs and events that will raise awareness for sustainability, cultivate green job mentorship opportunities, and encourage meaningful environmental actions.

For more information about BRING IT, the S’well water bottle giveaway, and getting involved in the fight against preventable waste, visit BRING IT’s website or contact greenycinfo@cityhall.nyc.gov.

Each donated S'well bottle can help displace an estimated 126 plastic bottles from landfills every year.

Each donated S’well bottle can help displace an estimated 167 plastic bottles from landfills every year. (Photo by Deidre Schoo / Mayoral Photo Office)

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