The University of Winnipeg has done what City Councillor Harvey Smith has been trying to do at city-run facilities for years — ban the sale of disposable plastic water bottles. The U of W is the first university in Canada to eliminate the bottles.
75% of students voted for the change last week when the U of W Students’ Association held a referendum.
The ban won’t happen immediately, but rather be phased in over the next few months. Over 38,000 plastic water bottles are currently sold on campus annually, including in cafeterias and vending machines.
“There is a growing awareness internationally, one that is increasingly embraced by the next generation, that water security is a basic human right,” U of W President & Vice-Chancellor Lloyd Axworthy said Monday morning. “We are committed to a comprehensive Sustainability Management System at The University of Winnipeg, unique among Canadian universities, and the initiative shown by our students to reduce needless plastics on campus is consistent with that policy. We are proud to support this student-led initiative.”