Bottled water ban takes effect this fall
The university is on track to ban all bottled water sales across campus in September, aiming to help create a greener community.
“We’re among the first few universities in Canada to implement a bottled water ban,” says Aaron Ball, Sustainability Manager. “It is important that Queen’s takes a lead on this because water is essential to us all and through our initiatives we, along with other academic and municipal institutions, can inspire others to act.”
In preparation for the new policy, the university is enhancing accessibility to municipal drinking water and encouraging students, faculty and staff to use refillable bottles. Roughly forty per cent of the university’s fountains will be replaced with more modern fountains that meet current accessibility standards and include bottle-filling taps. The new fountains will also have an awareness device called a Green TickerTM that tracks the number of litres poured and displays a running total of plastic bottles saved from landfills.
An average of 98,000 bottles of water are sold on campus annually through retail services and vending machines. The ban aims to reduce the waste associated with plastic bottle use and address social concerns regarding private corporations’ control of drinking water.
Over the next few months, university vendors who previously sold bottled water are making changes to accommodate the new policy. Vending machines that only sell bottled water will either be removed or replaced with different units, and mixed-product machines will be restocked with other traditional products.
In 2010 Principal Daniel Woolf pledged to end sales of bottled water on campus as one way of contributing to a sustainable future. More information about this initiative and about the Climate Action Plan is available on the Sustainability website and on Facebook and Twitter.