University of Canberra Bans Bottled Water

University of Canberra : Australia's Capital UniversityThe University of Canberra is the first Australian university to ban the sale of bottled water on its campus, according to a blog post by Stephen Parker, the school’s vice chancellor. The school plans to stop selling bottled water on campus by World Water Day, which is March 22 of this year.

Many schools in the United States and Canada have undertaken similar bottled water bans, and even more schools have considered such a ban. Of course, if a university or college bans bottled water, they should make sure that they have a plan in place to provide clean water to students.

The University of Canberra did that and then some.

The university has installed water bubblers and water refill stations throughout the campus so that its students have access to clean, filtered water. And, unlike bottled water, this water doesn’t cost students a thing.

But the University of Canberra didn’t stop there. They also had Water Vend machines installed. These machines provide “flash-chilled” filtered tap water, which students may have still, sparkling or even flavored. Sigg also supplied the school with reusable water bottles.

If your campus is considering a bottled water ban, you would do well to take a page out of the University of Canberra’s book. There is no point in even considering a ban on bottled water if you don’t have a clear alternative, as the University of Canberra clearly did.

Bottled Water Ban – Thoughts from Penn State University

I just wanted to share some of the response we received to our recent article, “Should Universities Ban Bottled Water.”  Pennsylvania State University’s College of Education Ph. D Candidate,  Peter Buckland claims that, “The pros for bottled water are pretty vapid and easily refuted” by the following arguments (directly quoted):

  • People have not turned to less healthy alternatives in any study I have seen.
  • In the name of convenience universities can work with students to create easy-to-reuse bottles that they can carry with them. That is real convenience.
  • Choice is used to create a false sense of entitlement that generates waste in the name of freedom and convenience. It’s utter nonsense. Smokers said it should be their choice over other people’s health to smoke wherever they wanted to when the side effects were clear. The same argument, though more protracted works in this case.
  • The notion that you make bottled water always available in the name of an emergency when the emergency doesn’t exist at all times is pretty silly. Though the analogy is a little bit weak in this case, everyone isn’t allowed to carry a concealed weapon because there MIGHT be a killer in the restaurant you are in. Should we have access to any other number of ecologically and socially degrading things in the name of disasters? If anything, that’s an argument for the stockpiling and reserving of water for emergencies. When I was a kid we had a giardia outbreak where I lived and the national guard brought us water. Take care of water with tax money and not with private waste.

He makes some interesting points… What do you guys think?

Feel free to contribute to the discussion by posting a comment below or e-mail to be featured in a separate post.

In the meantime, stay tuned for more responses from other universities.  Not affiliated with a university? That’s okay – we still want to hear from you.

Should Your School Ban Bottled Water?

With all the recent buzz about the dangers of bottled water, we thought we’d look into the issue a bit more.  Within the last few years, we’ve found that there have been several campaigns on university campuses to ban the sale of plastic water bottles.  Many of these campaigns have resulted in successful bans, but the debate remains heated.  Should colleges and universities ban the sale of bottled water on campus? Strong arguments exist for both sides of the debate.  We have written an article entitled, “Should Universities Ban Bottled Water,” which lists the main reasons for and against a bottled water ban.  This list applies, not just to university campuses, but to any place that is or has been in the middle of a campaign to ban bottled water.

Can you think of any arguments that are not included in this list?  Let us know what you think, and don’t forget to cast your vote in our most recent poll on this issue.