NYC High School Students Receive Free Reusable Bottles, How S’well

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA) students were surprised recently as they received free S’well water bottles while leaving school.

S’well partnered with Climate NYC Awareness to donate the reusable water bottles in the hopes of reducing the amount of plastic students use and discard.

According to a company press release, S’well partnered with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS) to help launch BRING IT, a City-led multi-channel campaign focused on helping New York City public school students and the community reduce waste through advocacy and action. Through this initiative, more than 320,000 high schools across all five boroughs will receive a S’well or S’ip by S’well reusable bottle with the goal to displace more than 54 million single-use plastic bottles in New York City.

The bottles were received pre-wrapped, adding to the excitement according to Mr. Frankel, principal of Sinatra. Mr. Frankel was emailed by the DOE a week prior to the distribution of the bottles to inform him of the news.

The bottles were distributed by faculty and staff directly to the students.

“Students were confused at first as to why they were being given free gifts, but they became excited when they realized what the gifts were,” said Andre Vazquez, faculty member and production manager at FSSA.

Francessca Griffin, a senior dance major, was excited about the free gift and uses it regularly.

“I do use my water bottle everyday. I care about my environment and I don’t want to live in plastic waste in 20 years,” she said.

Senior dance major, Francesca Griffin promoting S’well
with her S’ip watermelon water bottle.

Some students, like Francesca, are passionate about this topic and are excited to save the environment and do their part. But, despite what one thinks about the environmental impacts, it is evident that students are using them all over the school. 

“I really like these water bottles, it was very generous that the company gave them to us. I am super excited to use my watermelon water bottle,” said Julia Leone, a senior vocal major.

In addition to S’well’s free water bottles, Mr. Frankel would eventually like to continue making students more environmentally aware by replacing the regular water fountains with bottle-refill fountains.

The bottles have been distributed. Sinatra has done their part, but was S’well’s campaign worth all their time and money? Handing out water bottles is one thing, but actually getting students to use the bottles is another. Some, like Mr. Vazquez, believe S’well should follow up with the NYC schools and track their progress.

Regardless of whether students use their bottle or not, the campaign brought awareness about environmental issues to Sinatra students as well as thousands of other NYC students. Hopefully, students take issues like this to heart and do their part to help the Earth.

By Gabriella Yarczower ’19 and Natalie Martino ’19