Foothill alumni aim to end the use of plastic water bottles
Foothill College students are creating solutions for global issues.
Alumni Amer Orabi and Shadi Bakour turned their environmental efforts into a successful bottled water business, PathWater. The Foothill alumni sell purified water in a reusable aluminum water bottle, which they hope will thwart the use of plastic.
“It’s amazing that Foothill has been able to ban plastic water bottles because the timing is right for us to come in and support a college we care so deeply about,” said Bakour, the CEO of PathWater.
Foothill College stopped the sale of single-use plastic water bottles during the spring quarter in the Pacific Dining Cafeteria, all KJ’s Cafe campus locations and the bookstore.
“We wanted to be part of a solution,” said Amer Orabi, PathWater’s Director of Operations. “We wanted to have a business that would have an impact. We found that opportunity in bottled water.”
The entrepreneurial partners said Foothill’s teachers encouraged them to think about pursuing their interests that could benefit others on a larger scale.
“Foothill is known to create leaders in many ways,” Orabi said. “I think the skills that Foothill gives you are extremely valuable.”
Their hope is to end the use of plastic water bottles with the reusable water bottles people can refill over time.
“Some people might say that’s counter-intuitive to business,” Bakour said. “For us, our mission and impact come first. All of our ideas involve solving problems in the world.”
Orabi said the aluminum water bottle can be used just like any reusable bottle so long as it’s washed regularly. He also added that PathWater is dedicated to the mission of helping the environment so much it also donates 5 percent of its profits to nonprofits committed to ending the use of plastic and cleaning sustaining a clean environment.
PathWater donates to Parley, Plastic Tides, Surfrider Foundation, Lonely Whale, and Save the Waves.
According to Orabi, PathWater is available in California gas stations, Safeway, schools districts, tech companies, hotels, and on Amazon.