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Bottled water banned at Bishop?s University

by admin October 19, 2010

Bottled water banned at Bishop?s University

by admin October 19, 2010

(CUP) 8212; Bishop’s University has become the first university in Quebec to ban the sale of single-use bottled water on campus.

Bottled water was removed from vending machines at the small university, just two hours outside of Montreal, over the summer.

The move appears to be part of a growing trend, with the sale of water bottles banned at the University of Winnipeg, Memorial University in St. John’s, Brandon University and the University of Ottawa. Trent University in Ontario has also announced plans to ban bottled water on campus by next fall.

Fourth-year student Katrina Kroeze, who spearheaded the project along with two other students through the school’s environmental club, said she was inspired by similar moves at other universities.

“I sat in on a couple of conference calls with other universities, U of Winnipeg and Memorial and they spoke about their bottled water free campuses and we got really interested,” she said.

Kroeze said the move to ban bottled water at Bishop’s began last fall with an awareness campaign focused on the environmental impacts of plastic bottles. She said that major issues with plastic bottles include the oil and water used in the manufacturing process.

“Twice as much water is used to make a bottle of water as is used to fill the inside of it,” she said. In addition there are issues with transportation, with many bottles of water travelling long distances.

“I think there’s a lot of problems with bottled water,” she said. “We can look at the privatization of water, especially in the Lennoxville area we have great water so why would we pay more for water than gasoline in our own province?”

In March, the student union held a referendum on the issue, which saw 39 per cent of students vote, with 74 per cent voting in favour of banning bottled water.

Kroeze also worked closely with the university, gaining support from both administration and faculty. She said that over the summer the school had increased the number of drinking fountains on campus by around 40 per cent.

Other Quebec universities may also be moving toward banning bottled water. According to Chris Mota, communications director at Concordia University in Montreal, discussions are currently ongoing on the issue. Members of Sustainable Concordia, as well as a student who has been championing the cause, have been invited to join the working group.

“Nothing’s been decided, but they are discussing it,” said Mota.

McGill University, however, isn’t getting on board with the idea.

“We are doing everything we can to minimize the use of bottled water on campus without going to a complete ban at this point because we always need to be able to guarantee an access to water supply to our community members and we don’t always have drinking fountains nearby,” Jim Nicell, McGill’s associate vice-principal wrote in an email.

“And there are always occasional circumstances where during maintenance work where water supplies are reduced or cut that bottled water needs to be available.”

The City of Montreal also plans to ban the sale of single-use bottled water in municipal buildings. That announcement came as part of the city’s green plan released on Oct. 12, however no target date has been set.

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(CUP) 8212; Bishop’s University has become the first university in Quebec to ban the sale of single-use bottled water on campus.

Bottled water was removed from vending machines at the small university, just two hours outside of Montreal, over the summer.

The move appears to be part of a growing trend, with the sale of water bottles banned at the University of Winnipeg, Memorial University in St. John’s, Brandon University and the University of Ottawa. Trent University in Ontario has also announced plans to ban bottled water on campus by next fall.

Fourth-year student Katrina Kroeze, who spearheaded the project along with two other students through the school’s environmental club, said she was inspired by similar moves at other universities.

“I sat in on a couple of conference calls with other universities, U of Winnipeg and Memorial and they spoke about their bottled water free campuses and we got really interested,” she said.

Kroeze said the move to ban bottled water at Bishop’s began last fall with an awareness campaign focused on the environmental impacts of plastic bottles. She said that major issues with plastic bottles include the oil and water used in the manufacturing process.

“Twice as much water is used to make a bottle of water as is used to fill the inside of it,” she said. In addition there are issues with transportation, with many bottles of water travelling long distances.

“I think there’s a lot of problems with bottled water,” she said. “We can look at the privatization of water, especially in the Lennoxville area we have great water so why would we pay more for water than gasoline in our own province?”

In March, the student union held a referendum on the issue, which saw 39 per cent of students vote, with 74 per cent voting in favour of banning bottled water.

Kroeze also worked closely with the university, gaining support from both administration and faculty. She said that over the summer the school had increased the number of drinking fountains on campus by around 40 per cent.

Other Quebec universities may also be moving toward banning bottled water. According to Chris Mota, communications director at Concordia University in Montreal, discussions are currently ongoing on the issue. Members of Sustainable Concordia, as well as a student who has been championing the cause, have been invited to join the working group.

“Nothing’s been decided, but they are discussing it,” said Mota.

McGill University, however, isn’t getting on board with the idea.

“We are doing everything we can to minimize the use of bottled water on campus without going to a complete ban at this point because we always need to be able to guarantee an access to water supply to our community members and we don’t always have drinking fountains nearby,” Jim Nicell, McGill’s associate vice-principal wrote in an email.

“And there are always occasional circumstances where during maintenance work where water supplies are reduced or cut that bottled water needs to be available.”

The City of Montreal also plans to ban the sale of single-use bottled water in municipal buildings. That announcement came as part of the city’s green plan released on Oct. 12, however no target date has been set.

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