New filtered water dispensers are installed throughout the local hospital.

In a new initiative to reduce waste and usage of plastic, Faith Community Health System (FCHS) has announced the rollout of new filtered water fountain dispensers throughout the FCHS main campus. The local health system hopes to reduce the number of plastic water bottles currently being used and urge team members to utilize reusable containers.

“The amount of plastic water bottles used throughout our health system is pretty remarkable,” says Frank L. Beaman, CEO of FCHS. “Without a recycling center in the region, trying to collect used plastic to recycle is not feasible and would be a considerable expense for the health system to absorb.”

It is estimated that 80 percent of plastic water bottles purchased end up in in landfills. Moreover, landfills in the United States are overflowing with more than 38 billion discarded water bottles. Each can take upwards of 1,000 years to decompose.

Bottled water is expensive compared to other sources of drinkable water. To consume the recommended amount of water each day, a person would have to spend $1,800 in bottled water each year. This cost is astronomical comparably speaking.  It is 26 times more than filtered pitcher water and 3,675 times more than tap water.

Off-campus facilities, such as Faith Community Rural Health Clinics in Bowie and Alvord, are currently exempt from the program as FCHS has not yet had the opportunity to install water dispensers at those locations.

“Until we complete the rollout of our new program, I have asked that team members at these locations try, to the best of their ability, to limit the consumption of bottled water so that we can continue with our system-wide initiative of reducing plastic waste,” Beaman adds. “Plans are currently in the works to get these facilities on the program soon.”

Bottled water will still be available at FCHS, specifically for patients and guests. Additionally, bottles will be available for sale at the Faith Café.

“We take pride that we are exercising fiscal responsibility and doing our part in the effort to reduce the number of plastics that are buried in landfills,” Beaman says.  

ER Manager, Courtney Curtner said it best when presented with the initiative, “We have Faith in our community and now are putting Faith in our environment.”