December 21, 2010
Bottled water sales on campus will end by September 2012—three years sooner than originally planned.
An action plan for reaching the new target was unveiled today.
A completed drinking fountain inventory and audit highlight the need for improvements to fountains on campus. Physical Plant staff will be working to ensure accessible and bottle-fill-friendly drinking fountains are reasonably available by fall 2012.
"We want to ensure faculty, staff and students can access municipal drinking water in all campus facilities and they are aware of those options when bottled water is no longer available," says Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) Caroline Davis.
The Water Access Group (WAG), with the support of the Queen's Sustainability Office, will lead a public awareness campaign about the bottled water ban.
"Ending the sale of bottled water will help reduce the number of plastic bottles that end up in the landfill. The ban will also reduce the waste associated with extracting, manufacturing and shipping the product," says WAG member Jamie Linton. "WAG strongly supports the university in its promotion of public water services on campus. We will be encouraging campus community members to get in the habit of using drinking water fountains well before September 2012."
The ban will take effect when the Coke exclusivity contract expires on August 31, 2012. In the months leading up to that date, vendors who previously sold bottled water will make changes to accommodate the new policy. Vending machines that only sell bottled water will be replaced with different units and mixed-product machines will be restocked with other traditional products.
Principal Daniel Woolf pledged an end to the sale of bottled water on campus earlier this year as one way of creating a greener community for students, faculty and staff.