Uni bans bottled water


In a world first, the University of Canberra has banned the sale of bottled water and provided retailers with a profitable environmental alternative.


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Today, the University of Canberra announced a ban on the sale of bottled water across their entire campus.

The 13,000 staff and students will be able to drink free water from water bubblers installed around the campus. These are the same Street Furniture Australia bubblers in the water bottle free town of Bundanoon in NSW.

“What makes this a world first is not just the fact that this university is banning the sale of bottled water – it’s the first time a commercial alternative has been offered,” Jon Dee, founder of Do Something told G-Online.

It will cost just $1 for a chilled water refill, or $1.50 for a sparkling water refill. Chilled flavoured water is also available. This will not only save the students money but also provide revenue for the retailers. Plus, retailers will sell a cheap locally made 'BPA-free' plastic refillable bottle and SIGG aluminium bottles.

“One of the problems with bottled water are the fridges because the drinks are kept cold 24 hours a day. But the new ‘WaterVend’ machine is a very energy efficient machine.”

“It’s hooked up to the mains water supply, which then goes through a filter and is ‘flash chilled’ – meaning it’s only chilled on demand. And that makes the WaterVend machine way more energy efficient than bottled water.”

“And the water coming out of it is super-cold!” says Dee.

In a recent survey of 1000 Australians, over 78 per cent said there are not enough public bubblers available and 66 per cent said that if greater number of bubblers were available, they would buy less bottled water. This ban will prevent the sale of 140,000 bottles of water a year on the University of Canberra campus.

“By supplying free water and cheap chilled water, the University will be helping students to break a bottled water habit that's costing Australians half a billion dollars a year,” said Dee.

“The University of Canberra has created a wonderful role model here - our campaign will assist any universities who want to create a similar ban.”

Phased-in across all cafes, restaurants, retail outlets and vending machines, all on-campus sales of bottled water will totally cease by World Water Day on 22 March 2011.

For more information on going bottle free, see the Go Tap! campaign.