Phasing out of bottled water sales on campus

Thursday , 20, January 2011 7 Comments

Tomorrow I will announce that the University is to phase out the sale of bottled water on campus. We will be the first Australian university to do so and this is the largest move of its kind so far anywhere in Australia. The idea was initiated by our own students and it is a demonstration of Step 39 of our Strategic Plan, to reduce our ecological footprint.

By 22 March 2011, which is World Water Day, bottled water sales will have discontinued in all campus outlets.

Bubblers and water refill stations have been installed around the campus with the support of the ACT Government to ensure that access to fresh, free drinking water is increased.

 Australia’s first “WaterVend” machines will also be installed on campus. These will dispense filtered, ‘flash-chilled’, still, sparkling or flavoured tap water into the customer’s own refillable container at a lower cost than bottled water and without the environmental consequences.

 A number of people internally and from external organisations have worked on this initiative, but in particular I acknowledge one of our students, Greg Stewart, our sustainability planner Beth Mitchell, the action group Do Something!, the ACT Chief Minister’s Department, all our campus vendors, Sigg (who are supplying refillable bottles) and WaterVend.

7 Comments
  • James Neill says:

    Great stuff – three cheers.

  • Matthew Hutchinson says:

    whilst the sentiment is laudable in reducing landfill, the real issue is water quality. Real spring water cannot be replaced by filtered tap water. The energetic signature and benefit of trace minerals is much higher is bottled spring water. Of prime concern when evaluating water quality is the ORP value (Oxidation Reduction Potential) – you can drink tap water all day long but if it has a high positive oxidising charge it will not hydrate the cells adequately. The cells have a peripheral charge of minus 90Mv. Tap water has a charge of around positive 300-400Mv. The chlorine levels in tap water diminish intestinal flora and lower immune response. Great sentiment but very poorly researched – and this coming from a University!!!

  • I HATE TAP WATER says:

    Great point Matthew, in addition to that, this water filter does not take out the toxic fluoride in the water.
    So the whole thing is pretty simple, you get what you pay for, you can install a cheap filter like this and get cheaper quality or buy regular bottled water, bottled by multi-million dollar filtration system and pay a bit more.
    If you really want to reduce plastic bottles why don’t you ban all the soft drinks instead, bottled water apparently represents a tiny one third of 1% of beverages sold, wouldn’t that be a smarter decision from a university.
    You should be looking into things like only having premium quality water to help students stay hydrated, a hydrated body performs better and focuses better, dehydration is the cause of most headaches and less concentration.
    This is a really silly idea that has not been thought out properly and might even been suggested and encouraged by a water filter company, as they are constantly trying to get that extra business.

    I think a few more bins and better education to recycle is the best option, as a university, you have that responsibility to educate our young, and the best advice you can give them is to drink more water and learn how to recycle not encourage them to drink more soft drinks.

  • Jim says:

    Wow, I thought faecal pathogens and parasites were the main risks to drinking water globally, but now I learn that what the developing world really needs are bottles of Evian.

    This is a fantastic move by the University of Canberra, well done. Anything we well off folk in the western world can do to reduce our environmental footprint should be applauded.

  • Stinson Peter says:

    All spring water is filtered before it is bottled. Its then packed in plastic, stuck in a warehouse or carted around on a boat or a truck. Meanwhile, proper filtration of tap water removes all chlorine and other heavy metals. Any difference in purity levels and ORP is negligible

  • Jessy Palmer says:

    That’s very good instruction! If you really want to reduce plastic bottles why don’t you ban all the soft drinks instead, bottled water apparently represents a tiny one third of 1% of beverages sold, wouldn’t that be a smarter decision from a university.

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