Douglas College puts a lid on single-use plastic water bottles
By Jessica Berget, Editor-in-Chief
Start bringing your own water bottles to school! Douglas College has rolled out a ban on plastic single-use water bottles from vending machines and cafeterias on all campuses (New Westminster, Coquitlam, and Anvil Office Tower) effective September 1.
The decision stems from the school’s commitment to reduce their carbon footprint and to become a more environmentally friendly and water conservative establishment. The college reported that over 32,000 bottles were sold on its campuses last year. Douglas is the 16th post-secondary institution in Canada to ban plastic water bottles following behind other schools such as McGill, Trent, the University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, University of Winnipeg, and the University of Victoria, with more sure to follow.
According to a Douglas College press release, the decision for the ban stems from a survey of the college community where 92 per cent of responders said they strongly supported banning plastic water bottles sales in the school.
Douglas College is committed to reducing their own carbon footprint and plastic bottle waste while also providing all students with clean, safe, and free water on all of their campuses. Students are encouraged to drink tap water instead, and the college made sure it was prepared. Before instituting the new ban, five new water bottle filling stations were added across campuses in 2018, with another seven added or upgraded in 2019. Students who forget their water bottles at home will be happy to know that Douglas will also be selling reusable water bottles in the bookstores as well as in select vending machines on all three campuses.
Canada has been slowly phasing out the use of single-use plastics. In a recent press release Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will ban single-use plastics such cutlery, straws, bags, and other scientifically-proven harmful plastics as early as 2021.