World first for bottled water ban

The University of Canberra has become the first tertiary institution to ban bottled water across its entire campus.

Initiated by students in partnership with not-for-profit organisation Do Something, it will be the world's biggest bottled water ban to date.

Phased in across retail outlets, cafes and vending machines, the ban will effectively stop the sale of 140,000 bottles of water per annum. Bottled water will also be banned at all university events.

The ban will deliver significant environmental benefits for the University and Australia. It is estimated that the production of bottled water sold in Australia contributes to 126,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas per annum.

Do Something founder and managing director, Jon Dee, said the Universtiy of Canberra will become a “wonderful role model” for other educational institutions to follow.

“Our Go Tap campaign will assist any universities who want to create a similar ban,” Mr Dee said in a statement.

The University of Canberra will also become the first organisation in Australia to install the new WaterVend machine, which dispenses chilled filtered water, along with sparkling water and other water-based drinks, into customers’ refillable bottles.

Chilled still water will cost students and staff just $1, while sparking water will be dispensed for $1.50.

Students and staff can also fill-up for free at newly installed SFA water bubblers across the 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,” Mr Dee said.

Retailers based on campus will also sell cheap, locally made BPA-free plastic refillable bottles and SIGG aluminium bottles, he added.

A total ban on bottled water sales at the University is expected to be in place by World Water Day on March 22, 2011.

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