Univ. of Vermont is Latest to Ban Plastic Water Bottles

Hoping to save money and the environment, a dozen colleges have stopped selling bottled water on campus.

Mr. T in DC/Flickr CC
A dozen colleges in the country have stopped selling bottled water on campus and the University of Vermont (UVM) is the latest and largest to do so, reports Reuters. The initiative, to begin in January 2013, is both environmentally- and economically-driven. Not buying bottled water saves students money (assuming they drink tap water instead) and saves plastic bottles (which are only recycled 25 percent of the time) from ending up in landfills where they can take thousands of years to decompose. In 2007, the UVM community -- including the nearly 11,000 undergraduate students -- bought 362,000 bottles of water, according to a university release. This year, the university will convert its water fountains to bottle refill stations and start selling reusable water bottles for a dollar each. The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Humboldt State University, Southern Oregon University and Upstate Medical University are the only other public institutions to enact campus-wide bottled water bans, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's senior web editor.