About 18,000 plastic water bottles will be saved from ending up in recycling, landfills, waterways or the environment after Fed Uni announced it would ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles on its Victorian campuses.
The ban, which will be phased in over the coming weeks, will see students and staff encouraged to refill their own reusable water bottles from taps around each campus.
“It’s up to universities to practice what we preach around sustainability – on one hand we have researchers doing world leading environmental research but on the other, we’re selling plastic water bottles that pollute our waterways,” said director of campus life Colin Marshall.
“We have some of the best tap water in the world so there’s simply no need to buy bottled water and as a university, we need to be part of the war on waste and help change people’s behaviour.”
Mr Marshall said the university had received feedback from staff and students that they would like to take steps to reduce the university's footprint on the environment.
"We want people to think consciously about their purchases over the next few weeks and we will bring the ban in probably some time in April," he said.
Students and staff can bring their own reusable bottles or buy university-branded glass or aluminium bottles.
"We are just looking to cover the cost of the bottles and target the people who actually buy water - when they ask to buy water they'll be given a pre-filled bottle of water in a reusable bottle."
Bachelor of Geological Sciences student Rhiannon Smith said she thought most students would be happy to use refillable water bottles rather than single-use throwaway plastic ones.
"A reusable bottle is not that much more expensive than a regular bottle of water and it's a really good initiative to save plastic waste," she said.
Fed Uni student senate sustainability representative Francis Licciardi said it was exciting to see the uni listening to students and taking real action on sustainability.
“Having the water bottle refill stations on campus is a fantastic idea – it makes it easier for students to do the right thing for the environment without causing any financial stress.”
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