Bottled Water Free Campus
Principal Woolf made a commitment in 2010 to reduce and eventually end the sale of bottled water on Queen's campus.
As of September 1st, 2012 Queen's University became bottled water free. This means that single use bottled water is no longer available in vending machines, retail outlets or at events. By supporting a bottled water free campus, Queen's is removing a significant source of waste material from campus and is encouraging consumption of water from municipal sources, which are more environmentally and socially responsible and economically sustainable. Since launching in 2012, Queen's has avoided introducing roughly 742,000 plastic bottles into the waste and recycling stream.
Students and staff are encouraged to use reusable bottles and take advantage of the water refill stations available in food services outlets and the 70 new bottle filling stations located throughout campus.
- Members of the United Nations estimate that if the world took half of what it currently spends on bottled water ($100 billion annually) and invested it in water infrastructure and treatment, everyone in the world could have access to clean drinking water.
- But bottled water is cleaner, right? Actually, the U.S. EPA sets more stringent quality standards for tap water than the FDA does for bottled beverages, and roughly 40% of bottled water is actually just tap water.
- 1.5 billion barrels of oil are consumed each year to produce the plastic for water bottles, enough to fuel 100,000 cars.
- According to the Container Recycling Institute, only 14 percent of plastic water bottles are recycled.
- A water bottle in a landfill or lying around as litter will take over 1,000 years to biodegrade.
- 3 in 4 Americans drink bottled water and 1 in 6 drink only bottled water.
- Bottled water corporations are changing the way people think about water. Water has become a for-profit commodity that can be bought and sold on the global marketplace. Bottled water corporations spent $71.4 million on advertising in 2004.
- All this is occurring as 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water worldwide. And the World Health Organization estimates that two-thirds of the world's population lack access to water.
- Globally, supplying water is estimated to be a $420 billion a year business.
- See the Story of Bottled Water for more information