Single‐Use Bottled Water Policy

Policy Statement

The Queen’s University Single‐Use Bottled Water Policy requires that, subject to certain exceptions, the purchase, sale, or distribution of single‐use pre‐packaged water shall not be permitted on campus.

Policy Monitoring and Revisions 

This policy shall be reviewed and amended as required.

Last reviewed: September 2021


Single‐Use Pre‐Packaged Water ‐ A water product that is sold, stored, or otherwise distributed within single‐use water containers (including, but not limited to, bottles, cartons, etc.) that are less than or equal to 2 litres in capacity.


The ban shall cover all buildings and property located within the University’s main and west campuses and will extend to official University hosted or sponsored events off campus.

The following sale and distribution points are included in the ban:

  • Vending machines
  • Retail outlets
  • Cafeteria dining
  • Student cafes
  • Student nightclubs
  • Event concessions
  • Office/Department lounges and kitchens
  • Catered events and conferences
  • The Tuck Shop


This policy came into effect September 1, 2012.


  1. Vitamin water and other sports drinks shall not be included in the ban.
  2. Carbonated water drinks shall not be included in the ban.
  3. Large water bottles used for water coolers shall not be included in the ban.
  4. This policy shall not apply to campus buildings where it becomes prohibitive to install drinking fountains.
  5. Bottled water may be stored and distributed as a matter of emergency preparedness.
  6. This policy does not apply during states of emergency.


Easy access to water must be maintained from either drinking water fountains, bottle filling stations or, in the case of event services, through provision of containers and cups and will be:

  • Free of charge,
  • Readily available in all campus facilities and,
  • Accessible to people with special needs.

The University’s construction standards shall reference this policy and ensure that all new facilities are provisioned with easy access to water.

New or renewed contracts or business arrangements covering the sale of food or beverages shall explicitly reference this policy and explicitly restrict the sale of bottled water within campus facilities.

The University’s advertising policy will disallow future advertising of single‐use pre‐packaged water products on campus‐owned property.

Bottle Refill Stations

In September 2012, Queen’s banned the sale of plastic water bottles. Since then, many departments have worked to expand the network of water bottle fill stations on campus. To date, approximately 75 stations are in operation diverting millions of bottles from circulation since 2012. Way to go Queen’s!