Water Refill Campus Initiative

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Water Refill Campus Initiative


The University of the Sunshine Coast is a Water Refill Campus providing a variety of alternative options to purchasing commercial bottled water on campus. This initiative aligns with the University's goal to reduce waste going to landfill and empowers the USC community to be environmentally responsible through providing a variety of alternative choices. By choosing to refill your water you can save money and help us to prevent approximately 40,000 plastic water bottles per year going to landfill.

In partnership with Do Something! and Pro Acqua, the University is showing commitment and leadership to sustainability through providing a true alternative to bottled water with the installation of three water refill vending machines. These machines dispense chilled, micron-filtered still or sparkling water for a substantially low cost to users. USC also provides 18 free aqua bubblers (bottle refilling stations) and over 50 water fountains across the campus.

Download the Water Refill Station Map (PDF 1.4MB) *.

The decision for the University to support this initiative was made after a USC survey revealed that 82 percent of participants said they would support a ban of bottled water sales on campus if alternative water choices were made available on campus. As a result, in the period from July 2014 - June 2015 (which includes bottled water sold on campus up until February 2015), USC has saved a huge 29,711 600ml plastic water bottles from being sold on campus. That equates to 817kg of PET saved from landfill and 767kg of CO2 emissions.

Official Launch 

The official launch kicked off in February 2015 during USC ‘s Welcome Week with guest speakers from Pro Acqua and Tanagaroa Blue Foundation. This marked the beginning of commercial bottled water no longer being sold on campus with hundreds of students attending the launch and happily receiving a free Watersmart card and refillable bottle from Pro Acqua. Tangaroa Blue CEO Heidi Taylor said the changes were aligned with the work of the not-for-profit environmental foundation, which focuses on the health of Australia's marine environment: "We're using this as a case study to show how really local projects can result in less waste, and if we have less waste, we have less ending up in the environment or in the ocean," Ms Taylor said.

Refillable bottles500ml-bottle-(2).jpg

The University encourages people to bring their own bottle or purchase a bottle or a large compostable cup from any campus food outlet on campus.

The University no longer sells commercial bottled water on campus.

  1. BPA free plastic bottle 500ml – Retail price A$7
  2. Stainless steel bottle 500ml (Thermo insulated) – Retail price A$13
  3. Large compostable coffee cup – Retail price A$0.50

Loyalty smart cards

Loyalty smart cards can be purchased from all campus food outlets for A$7 which includes A$5 credit to use at the machines. Recharges can be purchased at the campus food outlets for A$5 only and A$10 at the machines.

For visitors or non-regular users, the machines offer a pay per refill option via credit card which incurs an extra cost.

How to use the ProAcqua water refill machines

All you need to do is:

  • bring your own bottle, purchase a refillable bottle or a 500ml compostable cup from any café or eatery on campus.
  • purchase a refill smart card from Café C, Sports Kiosk, or the Brasserie. You will pay $7 for your card which includes $5 credit to purchase water from the machine.
  • insert your smart card and place your bottle under the water nozzle.
  • choose water type and refill size.
  • refill cost (still or sparkling):

With loyalty smart card:

Size Cost
Small 500ml $0.40
Medium 750ml $0.50
Large 1lt $0.60

With credit card:

Size Cost
Small 500ml $0.80
Medium 750ml $1.00
Large 1lt $1.20
  • You can recharge your smart card either by:
    • credit card at the water refill machine for recharges of A$10
    • cash at any café or eatery on campus for A$5 only. (When recharging by cash our retail staff will swap your empty smart card for anew one with A$5 credit)

Watch this instructional video to learn how to:

  1. purchase and use a water smart card to refill
  2. purchase water refills using your bank card only
  3. recharge your water smart card at the machine

Note: If you choose not to purchase water refills with a smart card then you can purchase individual refills via a credit card which will incur an extra cost for bank fees as shown above. Download the full guide on how to use the water refill machines Water Refill Stations How To Guide (PDF 972KB) *

The phasing-out of the sale of bottled water will occur in 2015. For more information download the full report Reuse Refill and Reduce: The ecological way to drink water (PDF 469KB). *

* For PDF documents you must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded from the Adobe Download page.

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