The Arifjan plastic water bottle reduction and recycling partnership

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An Adaptive Management Plan for Use-Reduction and Recycling of Single Serve Plastic Water Bottles at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait

Course: EVSP501 Instructor: Dr. D’Andrea Student ID: 1055740

“If the wars of the 20th century were fought over oil, the wars of the next century will be fought over water.” —Ismail Serageldin, former VP, World Bank, Newsweek, 1995 The world is awash in single serve plastic water bottles, up to 80% of which are discarded, ending up in landfills, as litter that’s easily seen anywhere humans congregate, in oceans and other water bodies, inside the digestive and other systems (as plastic pieces, or as chemical parts of or releases from those plastic pieces) of the entire hierarchy of sea-life, and in the atmosphere in the form of toxic gases from incineration. At the same time, there is an ongoing and ever more serious global crisis in the availability of safe, clean drinking water. Additionally, there are concomitant and interdependent environmental crises; and social, sometimes armed, conflicts arising from obtaining the primary ingredient in the bottles – petroleum. Here are some more specific statistics, from The Container Recycling Institute Website, and links within: • • Almost eight out of ten plastic water bottles end up in a landfill or incinerator. Hundreds of millions end up as litter on roads and beaches or in streams and other waterways. The global consumption of bottled water reached 154 billion liters (41 billion gallons) in 2004, up 57 percent from the 98 billion liters consumed five years earlier. •

Also, here are additional jaw-dropping facts from the YouTube video, Water Disaster: plastic bottle problem, which cites, amongst other sources, The Earth Policy Institute and • Some 28, 000, 000, 000, 000 (28 BILLION) plastic water bottles are consumed in the United States ALONE per year.

o 1500 WATER BOTTLES PER SECOND end up as garbage o 17,000,000 barrels of oil are required for those 28 Billion bottles EACH YEAR. That’s enough oil to fuel about 100,000 cars for a year. o 2,500,000 tons of CO2 are produced each year to make those bottles o $100, 000, 000, 000 (100 BILLION DOLLARS) per year are spent on bottled water o Research shows that for a fraction of the $100 Billion, everyone on the planet could have safe drinking water and proper sanitation. Simply put, the global addiction to bottled water must stop. It is unsustainable! We at Camp Arifjan and other military posts in Kuwait and Southwest Asia are adding to this horrific problem, in direct contradiction to the US Army mission of incorporating sustainability into all aspects of planning and operations: “Sustainability connects our activities today to those of tomorrow with sound business and environmental practices. We have learned over the past decades that simply complying with environmental regulations will not ensure that we will be able to sustain our mission. We must strive to become systems thinkers if we are to benefit from the interrelationships of the triple bottom line of sustainability: mission, environment, and community. To sustain the future Army we must implement effective policies and practices that safeguard the environment and our quality of life in a manner that our nation expects of us.”1 Following is an Adaptive Management Plan for dramatically reducing the volume of plastic water bottles used at Camp Arifjan, and for instituting a recycling program for the bottles that remain as part of the mix of drinking water delivery methods.


US Army Environmental Command (1 October 2004). The Army Strategy For The Environment: Sustain The Mission, Secure The Future. Retrieved on 17 February 2011from

What is the issue and what are the basic facts about the issue? Single serve ½-liter sized plastic bottles are virtually the sole means by which drinking water is containerized for consumption by all personnel at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. After the water inside is consumed, all those bottles – upwards of 1,000,000 per year1 – are immediately or eventually discarded, none are recycled or reused. Research into the facts started with this premise: The primary problem is there is no plastic water bottle recycling program in place at Camp Arifjan, and the straightforward solution is to develop a carefully designed and monitored recycling program. Once that objective is met then the established program can be exported to other military posts in Kuwait and other countries in the Mideast and Southwest Asia and beyond. However, it was quickly realized that the issue is far more complex than the non-existence of a singleserve plastic water bottle (SSPWB) recycling program. Recycling is not the panacea it at first appeared to be. A. Recycling doesn’t address the very significant and ever more negative consequences of Arifjan’s sole reliance upon single-serve plastic water bottles for its drinking water supply: o The 500,000 liters of bottled water that are consumed annually at Camp Arifjan use more than 272 barrels (43,253 liters) of oil to produce.2 o Twice as much water goes into production than what is sold in the bottle3 - that equates to some 1 million liters of water used to produce the 500,000 liters of water consumed, or 1.5 million liters of water used and consumed. o In Kuwait, groundwater quantities are deteriorating due to the continuous pumping of water4 to provide drinking water (although much of the non-bottled drinking water comes from ocean water desalination plants) to the growing Kuwaiti population and the county’s military guests (almost exclusively American); and to service the country’s also growing agricultural and industrial needs. o The plastic bottles, as well as all other materials commonly considered recyclable, are for all practical purposes being 100% dumped into indiscriminately constructed and located

landfills (16 of 19 of which have been closed due to saturation), which are in turn causing or portending severe environmental and public health consequences for all people in Kuwait5 B. Currently, virtually the entire 20% of SSPWBs set aside for recycling are actually not recycled (that is, completely converted back or restored to, or reused as, SSPWBs); instead, they are downcycled – that is, they are turned into lower quality products that are simply tossed out later. Plus, there are parts of each bottle that can’t be used in the downcycling process – those are also tossed (oftentimes – at least in the United States – after being transported great distances, which itself adds to the environmental and public health toll).6 So, almost 100% of SSPWBs end up as waste – in a landfill where they don’t decompose for thousands of years, or burned to release many tons of CO2 and toxins into the air. In light of the information discovered and explained above, The Arifjan Plastic Water Bottle Reduction & Recycling Partnership (APWBRRP - pronounced, for convenience, “Apwiburp”) will design and propose two programs for simultaneous launch at Camp Arifjan: one aimed at reducing as much as possible the use of SSPWBs, the other aimed at maximizing recycling and upcycling (and minimizing downcycling) of the SSPWBs that continue to be consumed. What is our Vision Statement?  The Arifjan Plastic Water Bottle Reduction & Recycling Partnership will work together to

establish and develop a comprehensive program to both reduce and recycle/upcycle single-serve plastic water bottles at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait; with a longer-term goal of exporting the established program to other installations within the Army Central Command Area of Responsibility.

Who needs to be involved as interested parties and stakeholders?   Representatives for the occupants of Camp Arifjan, Kuwait The headquarters unit for Zone 6, Headquarters, 19th Fires Brigade (HQ 197th FiB), which commands approximately 2300 Servicemembers operating in and out of Kuwait. Zone 6 is logistically run by Headquarters Battery 197th FiB, officially called the Command and Control Cell (CCC), nicknamed the Mayor’s Cell.

Zone 1, Camp Arifjan – home to 197th FiB’s partner & higher command units: Area

Support Group – Kuwait (ASG-KU), 1st Theater Sustainment Command – Forward (1st TSC-F), Third Army/Army Central Command and;  Other US. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps units stationed temporarily or Foreign military units stationed there (British, perhaps others) DOD civilians Third Country Nationals working and living at Arifjan US Army Environmental Command Kuwait government entities involved in water-supply management, environmental Water Bottle companies that supply Arifjan • National Canned Food Production & Trading Company, a subsidiary of Mezzan Holding Company, which “…has recently invested in the production of PET bottle manufacturing and the production of Drinking Water under the brand AQUA GULF.” Website: • Al Rawdatain Water Bottling Co. Website:  Asia/Middle East Bottled Water Association,, Kuwait representative: Sathyabhama Shah, Arabian Beverage Co. LTD, P.O. Box 3022 - Safat 13031, Kuwait Phone : +965 802066, Fax : +965 4722793, Email :   Logistics companies involved in delivering the water; removing Arifjan waste One or more Kuwait plastics recycling companies, like MRC (Metal & Recycling NAPCOR (National Association for PET Container Resources), permanently at Camp Arifjan     

protection, and solid-waste management 

Company) , PO Box 1327, Sonoma, CA 95476; Voice: 707-996-4207; Fax: 707-935-1998  APR - Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers,, 1001 G Street, NW, Suite 500 West, Washington, DC 20001 202-316-3046,<  PET Containers Recycling Europe (PETCORE),, Rue Théodore de Cuyper 100, 1200 Brussels, Belgium,

The Pacific Institute., 654 13th Street, Preservation Park, Oakland,

CA 94612, U.S.A; P: 1-510-251-1600, F: 1-510-251-2203, e: info(at)

How and what will we communicate?  APWBRRP will submit/present a proposal to the commanders of 197th FiB, 1st Sustainment

Brigade, and 1st Theater Sustainment Command – FWD HQ, Kuwait.7 That proposal will communicate the reasons, outlined above, that there is a need to dramatically reduce the number of single serve water bottles distributed to and consumed at Camp Arifjan and throughout Kuwait. It will • Cite the fact that the Army supports integrated solid waste management (ISWM), which “…includes preventing waste, …source reduction, reusing and recycling …to reduce the volume of materials …sent to landfills.”8 • • Spotlight the impacts of bottled water, utilizing a multimedia approach.9 Emphasize the long-term and ongoing nature of the proposed reduction and recycling

program, to be designed for establishment at current and future posts in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. • Cite existence, within Kuwait, of the need and ability to reduce, reuse, and recycle/upcycle plastic; and to move toward sustainable resource use practices.10,11 The proposal will next delineate the courses of action that APWBRRP has collaboratively agreed will be the most likely to achieve the dual objectives of greatly reducing SSPWB use, and maximizing recycling and upcycling of the SSPWBs that continue to be consumed. Finally, the proposal will suggest methodologies for monitoring the success of the programs in meeting their objectives, and for expanding the programs to other materials and other locations in Kuwait and the Army Central Command (ARCENT) Area of Responsibility. Upon the proposed plan’s approval, information about its launch and implementation – to

include a timeline – will be published in various widely-read print media, like the military daily newspaper, Stars & Stripes; the Army Central Command’s monthly magazine, Desert Voice; the

Army magazine, Soldier; and the US Army Environmental Command’s monthly newsletter, Environmental Command. Further dissemination of information and gathering of support and feedback will occur via

publishing in lower command newsletters, both print and online; and via posting to the Third Army / USCENTCOM and lower commands’ Facebook pages (like that for the command in charge of current Kuwaiti operations directed from Zone 6, the 197th Fires Brigade), and the Area Support Group-Kuwait webpage.  Early in the plan’s implementation and rollout, informational sessions will be held at which

there will be presentations about the numerous negative effects from Arifjan’s and the world’s addiction to SSPWBs, and from the very poor recycling/upcycling of those SSPWBs. The presentations will be augmented by same-time and/or separate showings of the movie Tapped (purchased by Mark Cave from the Tapped Movie website) , the short documentary video The Story of Bottled Water, and the very brief but very powerful video clip, Twenty-First Century Waterfall.

Additional Materials/Data Needed to Get Started:  Get current info on Kuwait     Drinking water - sources, quality, quantity, citizens’ consumption of bottled water Solid waste management & landfills (capacity, construction quality, percentage of plastic) Plastics recycling – percentages tossed, recycled; players and processes Regulation and monitoring of water by the Ministry of Energy & Water

 Get current info on the state of SSPWB consumption and disposal at Camp Arifjan and in Kuwait Incorporate into the reduce and recycle proposal multimedia materials (like videos, power point presentation, graphic flow charts) that convey the huge amount of plastic bottles being produced, trashed, burned, and downcycled, along with the concomitant negative ramifications. The primary objective in deciding on the materials is to obliterate the complacent “out of sight, out of mind” attitude towards the problem. Getting Started:

For this project, the need to simultaneously pursue two interdependent actions – SSPWB use-reduction AND recycling – requires they be analyzed or assessed together for deciding upon • • • • methods of accomplishment, all of the possible outcomes after the program is implemented, measurement of the outcomes that actually occur, and what uncertainties exist that need to be accounted for and, if possible, addressed.

The table below explains, as just described, the singular assessment of the two actions. However, it separates that assessment according to the use-reduction and recycling objectives that are short-term (while Camp Arifjan Zone 6 is commanded by 197th FiB), and the use-reduction and recycling objectives that are mid-to-long-term (after 197th FiB transfers command of Zone 6 to another brigade and redeploys to the United States). Following the assessment, the table delineates the five-step approach to best overcoming anticipated uncertainties, and realizing successful accomplishment of both the short-term and long-term objectives.




ASSESS 1. Maximally reduce the per-person use of single serve plastic water bottles at Arifjan 2. Maximize recycling of all sizes of plastic water bottles at Arifjan 3. Export the established plastic water bottle reduction and recycling program to the other military posts in Kuwait After HHB 197th FiB has returned to USA, SFC Cave – the founder of and lead author for APWBRRP will “pass the baton” to someone who will then lead APWBRRP in • Broadening the materials recycled at Camp Arifjan to include paper, aluminum and tin; • Exporting the well established program from Arifjan to American military posts throughout Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and – eventually other countries in the Persian Gulf and Northern Africa regions. 1. SSPWB use-reduction • For tap water acceptance – taste and quality/safety comparison events


• Blind-folded taste tests, between the 2 bottled water brands and tap water, with literature explaining that tap water is as safe as bottled water, and that the desire for bottled water is a manufactured demand6 • Quality/safety testing and comparisons (testing to be conducted for comparative results that can be obtained within a few minutes) • For convenience - multiple water cooler stations; military branch issuance of refillable water bottles to Servicemembers; refillable water bottles obtained from “adopt-a-soldier” organizations and citizen-groups • Institute a program to control water bottle distribution, eliminating the current situation in which 24-bottle boxes are stacked and placed in common-areas and outdoors on pallets for free, easy access 2. SSPWB recycling and upcycling, not downcycling • Design clearly marked plastic water bottle recycling bins and place them near living quarters, work areas, activity and other recreation areas, the new controlled water bottle distribution sites, and near – but distinctly separate from – waste containers. • Verify that a large share of the plastic collected for recycling actually gets recycled or upcycled, rather than downcycled. • Institute a SSPWB convenience fee program – say, 5¢ per bottle – refundable upon bottle return to one of several manned collection sites. • Arifjan leadership commands that the programs be set in place as proposed, and the public willingly and eagerly participates. Result is resounding success, with dramatic reduction (say, 80% or more) in use of SSPWBs and an equally dramatic increase in the rate of recycling/upcycling (again on the scale of 80% or more of remaining SSPWBs) • Arifjan leadership nixes establishment of the programs, citing justifications like: • The contract to purchase the SSPWBs has already been enacted and funded for fiscal or calendar 2011.




3. 4.


• We already tried this. The 2007 pilot program to recycle SSPWBs failed and wasn’t sustainable. • The drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan will in and of themselves lead to a dramatic reduction of SSPWBs, making the institution of these programs an unnecessary waste of time, effort and money. • While fewer amounts of SSPWBs are delivered and placed around Arifjan, and water coolers, tap water, and durable refillable water bottles are added to the mix, the public continues to choose to drink mostly or solely from SSPWBs. • Other stakeholders don’t hold up their end – water coolers aren’t delivered, or aren’t maintained and regularly refilled; personal water bottle refill stations are poorly designed, constructed or maintained; the recycling bins aren’t maintained and regularly emptied, etc. First, establish a baseline by measuring the number of SSPWBs presently being distributed; and, of those, the number and percentage being taken for consumption. From there, assess the program launch itself, looking at the quality of participation by the stakeholders: • The distribution and maintenance of replacement water delivery containers and methods; • Refillable, durable water bottle dissemination to and/or procurement by the Arifjan population; • The distribution and maintenance of recycling bins; • The quality, reach and maintenance of the public information campaign; and • Indicators of participation by the Arifjan population. Early on, measure on a weekly or monthly basis the number and percentage reductions of SSPWBs taken for consumption compared to the baseline. When it’s confirmed that the use-reduction and recycling programs have been working for 2 consecutive months, shift the monitoring to a bimonthly or quarterly schedule. • The Kuwaiti constitutional monarchy form of

governance, with its relative intolerance of critical calls for change. The Ministry of Energy and Water. The Ministry of the Interior. Governance and regulation of generated solid waste and landfills. • Initial buy-in on the part of military leadership, the bottlers, and Kuwaiti government entities (Ministry of Energy and Water, Ministry of Interior). • Sustained support by military leadership, the stakeholders, the Arifjan population. • The fluid situation in Kuwait and Southwest Asia in regards to military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the political unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere; the very fragile and ever-changing economic climate in the US and Southwest Asia • The ability of this collaborative group to stay together and move the project forward •The collaborative group founder and organizer, SFC Mark Cave, and the entire 197th Fires Brigade are redeploying to the U.S. in late July, early August •There are very different stakeholders and contributors represented in the collaboration – US military; foreign military; American & TCN (third country national) civilian employees; Kuwaiti businesses; Kuwaiti government entities; trade groups; and environmental and research NGO’s. DESIGN To counter the potential for progress-halting conflict within so diverse a group of collaborators, APWBRRP will develop, prominently display and regularly pay heed to a set of guiding principles. Those principles will recognize the very real and increasingly more negative consequences to ALL PEOPLE – regardless of cultural or ideological differences – from inaction or an inability to move forward on the SSPWB crisis. The ABWRRP will research the varying perspectives of the stakeholder representatives to quantify and account for competing and shared objectives and cultural and political norms and influences. Then a mutually arrived at Value Statement and Code of Conduct will be created to guide the collaborators on communicating with each other, and to keep them focused on the issues. The ABWRRP will work closely with permanent party military people at Arifjan to ensure the SSPWB usereduction and recycling program stays on track and moves forward after Mark Cave and the 197th FiB redeploy to the United States IMPLEMENT The SSPWB use-reduction and recycling program will be launched first at Camp Arifjan, which is

headquarters for 1st TSC and Area Support Group-Kuwait. Once the kinks are worked out, and the program design and operation are fully and smoothly functioning, the program will be exported to the other American military posts in Kuwait, either one post at a time, on a group by group basis, or at all of the posts at once, depending primarily on the manpower available to direct and run the programs at each post and to direct them from Arifjan, and on the social-political-economic situation at the time. In 2007, a pilot project to recycle SSPWBs within Arifjan Zone 6 was launched, but it died before or shortly after the 6 months time span designated for it. Analysis by APWBRRP determined that the primary reason it died was the fact that the program was located in Zone 6, instead of throughout Arifjan or in Zone 1, which is where 1st TSC-Forward and ASG-Kuwait are headquartered, and where Third Army has offices. Zone 6 is under temporary – 9 months to a year – command by different brigades, usually or always from the National Guard or Reserves. That means there is a lack of continuity in leadership, and Reserve Component units just don’t carry the same clout that Active Army units do. Furthermore, Zone 6 is separated from Zone 1, so long-term monitoring of any program (which should take place from Zone 1) has to be aggressive to overcome that isolation. Another problem with the pilot project is that it did not have the involvement of all stakeholders, most notably Kuwaiti business interests and governmental entities. A final problem is that the pilot project did not address the underlying, much more serious and coexistent problem: the reliance on SSPWBs as the sole drinking source at Camp Arifjan and the resultant severe and multiple negative impacts, as discussed above. So Zone 1 is better than Zone 6, and both use-reduction and recycling/upcycling need to be pursued in tandem. Furthermore, if both problems are going to be tackled in Zone 1, economies of scale make inclusion of Zone 6 a requirement. Finally, it would be nigh impossible – for economic, logistical, qualitycontrol and evaluation purposes – to launch the project at once throughout Kuwait. Therefore the program will be developed for Arifjan; launched, monitored, fine-tuned, evaluated (and maybe fine-tuned again) in Arifjan; and then procedurally documented before exportation to other military posts in Kuwait and beyond. MONITOR Unlike other projects that are concerned with more general and controversial socio-environmental issues, this project is aimed at a very specific problem composed of two interdependent parts: the need, at Arifjan, to reduce the use of SSPWBs and the need to recycle the SSPWBs that remain and are still consumed. Because of that specificity, the monitoring of the use-reduce and recycle project will be the same as the measurements of outcomes delineated above: 1. First, establish a baseline by measuring the number of SSPWBs presently being distributed; and, of those, the number and percentage being taken for consumption. 2. From there, assess the program launch itself, looking at the quality of participation by the stakeholders - distribution and maintenance of replacement water delivery containers and methods; refillable, durable water bottle dissemination to and/or procurement by the Arifjan population; the distribution and maintenance of recycling bins; the quality, reach and maintenance of the public information campaign; and indicators of participation by the Arifjan population. 3. Early on, measure on a weekly or monthly basis the number and percentage reductions of SSPWBs taken for consumption compared to the baseline. 4. Upon confirmation that the reduction and recycling programs are properly working – probably after 2 to 3 months from the launch date of the programs – shift the monitoring to a bimonthly or

quarterly schedule. EVALUATE A. Besides the evaluation delineated as monitoring above, studies will be conducted to gather other information and data • Show the beginning-to-end recycling/upcycling process for an actual sample of collected Arifjan SSPWBs, from emptying of the bins to the production of reconstituted bottles and new, more durable products; or the addition of the recovered plastic to materials like concrete, asphalt, etc. • Extrapolate the data on improvements in waste reduction and recycling to give comparative examples of the benefits realized – for example, “By reducing by 400,000 the annual number of SSPWBs consumed annually, 218 barrels or 9,156 gallons of oil were saved at Camp Arifjan. If this were gasoline, that would fill a Toyota Siena 509 times (18 gallon capacity). Assuming once-a-week refueling, it would take almost ten years for the Siena owner to use that gas!” B. Questionnaires will be regularly (at least quarterly) provided to consumers and military stakeholders, with questions about • The quality and convenience of the use-reduction and recycling program, on its own merits and compared to the uncontrolled system being replaced. • The quality of the water being provided, especially the tap water. Questions will be designed for determining if there is any improvement to the negative preconceptions regarding tap water taste and health. • Their knowledge of and interest in numbers and statistics compiled on the reduction of SSPWBs, and on the increase in recycling and upcycling rates of the bottles.

Anticipating the challenges: For this proposed program, there are multiple stakeholders who hold very different and often directly opposing concerns and objectives. Therefore, there will be real challenges to accomplishing the primary codependent objective of the APWBRRP: a dramatic, maximized reduction in the number of SSPWBs consumed at Arifjan, along with a maximized recycling/upcycling rate of those SSPWBs that remain part of the drinking water delivery methodology. Vital to realizing the partnership’s success in the face of such challenges, is the development of an action plan to keep the use-reduction and recycling program on track. The following table first details the 3 primary /objectives necessary to making the program work: 1. Education of the stakeholders as to the horrific (if not readily seen) impacts from sole reliance on and no recycling of SSPWBs ; 2. The creation and maintenance of cooperative working relationships; and 3. The need to proactively adapt the management plan to new information that’s received.

For each of the above three items, there are suggested implementation actions, triggers that signal the need for adjustments or additional measures, proposals for meeting those needs, and the feasibility of the proposed actions.
Goals & Objectives Educate all stakeholders and the Camp Arifjan community about the multiple severe negative impacts from the use and nonrecycling of SSPWBs I mple mented Action(s) Give a multi-media presentation to the Arifjan leadership about the impacts, providing present statistics & projections of future scenarios based on current habits Trigger(s) Primary decision makers want to postpone action on use-reduction and recycling of SSPWB’s at Arifjan until after the end of the Iraq drawdown, and the beginning of the Afghanistan drawdown - i.e. 2012 or beyond at the earliest Possible Next Steps/Actions Point to the Army’s sustainability mission, which includes the requirement that “… the Army will continually incorporate environmental considerations in all contingency and combat operations…” Point to examples (like universities) where SSPWB use-reduction and recycling programs have been successfully implemented, with the added benefit of saving money. Set up several stations to conduct well advertised blind taste tests along with tabletop comparative chemical and particulate analyses of bottled waters and tap water Feasibility of Next Steps/Actions The command attitude may preclude any possible next step/action, as being insubordinate and therefore ill-advised. That would effectively stop activity for at least the time being, but at least there’d be in place a documented strong proposal containing a detailed plan of action.

Public showings of the movie Tapped. the video clip The Story of Bottled Water, and/or a multimedia presentation like the one shown to Arifjan leadership.

20% or more of Arifjan community states they will continue to drink only bottled water, citing convenience, taste differences, and distrust of tap water

The blind taste tests are very feasible and straightforward – just a matter of setting up and manning of the stations. The comparative chemical and particulate analyses of bottled and tap waters will require research, funding and carefully planned setup at the stations – probably provided by or through an NGO member of APBWRRP Very feasible – just obtain military leadership willingness to make attendance at such sessions mandatory, and provide materials and training to

Disbursement of flyers and other informational items describing: 1. planned changes to drinking water delivery methodologies, moving away from only widespread & uncontrolled Feedback from community signals that more than 50% of the remaining SSPWB still provided to the Conduct mandatory participation information sessions for the military community to 1. reiterate negative impacts of plastic

Goals & Objectives

I mple mented Action(s) supplying of SSPWBs to a system with water fountain stations; and large (5 gallon or greater) bottled water stations for consumption via supplied paper cups and for reusable personal water bottle filling; 2. planned placement of multiple SSPWB recycling containers around Camp Arifjan Amongst the purposes of meetings and forums will be the monitoring of stakeholder commitment, roadblocks to such commitment, and measures to improve low commitments. Participation will be measured at the meetings and forums, both in terms of percentage attendance and actual involvement and contribution to discussions and action plan development Stakeholder visits to sites of other stakeholder working areas – like water bottle manufacturing plant, recycling plant, water bottling operations site (might be all 1, 2 or more sites), landfills, Camp Arifjan and proposed drinking water fountains / ’bottle

Trigger(s) Arifjan community will be tossed rather than recycled.

Possible Next Steps/Actions disposal and positive impacts of recycling; 2. repeat the military services’ codified missions of sustainability and environmental protection; and 3. point out that throwing away SSPWBs means contributing to the host country’s plastics polluting and landfill capacity exigencies. Identify those interests not in attendance, contacting them to determine reason for absence, or for not contributing.

Feasibility of Next Steps/Actions volunteer presenters

Create cooperative working relationships amongst stakeholders

Stakeholder respresentative not in attendance for two consecutive monthly meetings, or in attendance but not engaged or contributing during two or more meetings

This could be counter productive if the pertinent stakeholder representatives feel they are being “badgered” regarding absences or quietness. Additionally, identifying causes for absence or noncontribution doesn’t guarantee future attendance or improved participation.

Goals & Objectives

I mple mented Action(s) refill stations”


Possible Next Steps/Actions

Feasibility of Next Steps/Actions

Proactively adapt the management plan to new information that’s received

Track and document reduction in supply and use of SSPWBs, until the record shows an acceptable bottom line has been reached (on the order of 90%+ reduction in number consumed and in the percentage of population relying on SSPWB’s for most to all of their drinking water)

Number of SSPWBs used decreases after Arifjan-wide move towards greatmajority reliance on large refillable water bottles/containers & tap water, but subjective analysis shows a continuing disproportionate dependence on SSPWBs (for example, a survey shows 30% or more of the Arifjan population relies on SSPWBs for 50100% of their drinking water)

Repeat taste tests to see if bottled water tastes noticably better than tap. If it does, invest in filtration systems and devices Institute a strictly controlled distribution system, with manned distribution sites from which individuals are limited to a certain number of free SSPWBs per week or month. Ensure that fountains & bottle refill stations are well maintained and fully functional at all times

Filtration systems and devices might prove costly, difficult to regularly and throghoughly maintain.

Might be costly to man the distribution sites. Military leadership might balk at this restricting of access to water, especially during hot summers.

Not sure of the costs of setting up the stations and keeping them well maintained and operational, although such costs should be largely or completely offset by the savings from reduced purchases Also not sure of the reliability of the contracted company or companies in performing the setup and maintenance. All these measures, except the refundable plastic bottle fee are very feasible. The fee is more doable if the cost and control of the program is born by the military. Perhaps a very different story if the Kuwaiti bottled water companies are asked to take that on.

Track and document the increase in the percentage and number of SSPWBs that are recycled, accounting for those that are distributed for free (if such distribution continues) as well as those that are purchased at the Arifjan PXs.

More than 20% of remaining SSPWBs that are freely distributed or sold are not ending up in recycling bins.

Survey population as to why SSPWBs aren’t being recycled more Schedule mandatory attendance (for military personnel) informational presentations about SSPWBs and the need to recycle them Schedule repeat

Goals & Objectives

I mple mented Action(s)


Possible Next Steps/Actions showings of the movie Tapped. Distribute more recycling containers around Camp Arifjan If the aove measures don’t have a signifcant impact, institute a refundable bottle deposit fee to be charged at manned distribution sites and at time of purchase in stores.

Feasibility of Next Steps/Actions

Reference List

Landrum, Wes (SPC/E4, 50th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, US Army). USAEC Environmental Update, Fall 2007: Water Bottles Leave Camp Arifjan Waste Stream. Retrieved January 23, 2011 from

Mathematically derived from the statistic statement, “The 31.2 billion litres of bottled water consumed annually in the United States uses more than 17 million barrels of oil to produce” , retrieved on 30 January 2011 from

Cecconi, R. (2009, January 22). Bottled Water Creates Pollution, The Daily Press Retrieved from

Aquastat, FAO’s (Food and Agricultural Organization of The United Nations) global information system on water and agriculture: Kuwait, retrieved 30Jan11 from

Sadeghi, R (2009, March 16). Toxic, hazardous gases being emitted into the air; Waste dumping tied to health problems. Retrieved on 30Jan11 from
5 6

The Story of Stuff website video (

1st Theater Sustainment Command,; 1st TSC Fact Sheet. Retrieved on 30Jan11 from

Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM). Retrieved on 23Jan11 from

Provide a. power point presentation of facts from sources like (, Ashley Braun at (, with references/links to EPA, NRDC, and Eureka Recycling); The Story of Stuff website video (; the cascading bottles video, at; and the waste counter graphic at the Container Recycling Institute’s website,

Alzouman, S. (2009, March 27). Recycling awareness rising in Kuwait. Retrieved on 23Jan11 from

Al-Salem, S. and Al-Salem M (2007). Plastic Solid Waste Assessment in the State of Kuwait and Proposed Methods of Recycling. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 4(6), 354-356

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