20 May 2014
The University of the Sunshine Coast will soon introduce an innovative water bottle refilling system that is expected to dramatically reduce the amount of plastic waste across campus.
This initiative, announced recently in an online blog by Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill, will see students and staff able to purchase chilled and filtered water refills at a lower cost than bottled water from mid-year.
More details about the planned system will be provided to the USC community in coming months.
Professor Hill said the move stemmed from a student’s suggestion that was presented to USC’s senior staff by the Sustainable Management Committee in 2013.
“One of the issues that came up last year was the environmental impacts of ‘bottling’ a readily available commodity such as water and whether or not USC should be selling bottled water on campus,” he said.
Professor Hill said a survey of students and staff about phasing out bottled water sales in association with the introduction of filtered water facilities and re-usable bottles found strong support for the new scheme.
“Sustainability is a strategic priority for USC and, while the concept extends beyond environmental sustainability, this facet of the model resonates with many of our students and staff,” he said.
“Each year we implement new initiatives and, whether it is bio-degradable coffee cups, bike stations, nesting boxes for campus wildlife, a community garden project, our on-campus composting facility or our other sophisticated recycling systems, the new ideas often come from the USC community.”
— Terry Walsh