Since 2012, there has been significant effort in educating the Champlain College community about the various issues with bottled water (including, but not limited to, privatization of a public resource, access and equity, waste in production and disposal, etc.) as well as adding the physical resources necessary to create an environment where access to free, safe drinking water is easy for all. In April 2013, the campus community was surveyed to see if they would support removing the sale and use of regular, un-flavored bottled water on campus and this was overwhelming supported by those that responded. In June 2013, Champlain switched from solely working with Coca Cola as our beverage vendor to being an open source campus where any retailer can work with any provider. At the time of the switch, the vendors were informed that we were likely to stop the sale of bottled water on campus as of January 1, 2014.
Sustain Champlain and collaborating departments recommended that as of March 8, 2014 any entities at Champlain College will no longer sell plain bottled water in campus vending machines, or the Bookstore. Additionally, bottled water will not be available at most catered events (may have special exclusions for some catered events including some summer groups or Admissions events). This was passed and approved by the Champlain College College Council.
Champlain College would then be joining the company of more than 35 other institutions of higher education across the US and Canada, including the University of Vermont and St. Michael's College, who have banned or restricted the sale and use of bottled water. Once the sale/use restriction is in place at Champlain, we will create signage for vending machines and other points of sale, explaining the rationale for this change.
Ten Reasons Why Champlain College Banned the Bottle:
10. We have FREE water bottle refill stations and fountains all over campus. Champlain has a continuing effort to upgrade water fountains with combo water filling stations (see map of available water on campus) and bulk water is offered for catering.
9. The City of Burlington supplies campus with some of the best, cleanest water in the nation.
8. We give water bottles to all new students and employees.
7. Tap water is more strictly regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency than bottled water is by the Food and Drug Administration.*
6. Half of all bottled water sold is simply tap water in a plastic bottle.*
5. 80% of plastic bottles are not recycled so they end up in our lakes, streams, oceans and landfills.*
4. The 17 million barrels of oil it takes per year to make all the plastic water bottles used in the U.S. is enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year.*
3. In a spring 2013 survey at Champlain, 64% of respondents supported stopping the sale of bottled water on campus.
2. During blind taste tests on campus, people have preferred fountain water over bottled water.
1. Bottled water costs about 2000 times more than tap water.