Student Campaign for a Bottled Water-free University of Toronto a Success

TORONTO, Aug. 26, 2011 /CNW/ - The University of Toronto has announced that it will begin to phase out the sale of bottled water at the St. George campus starting September 2011. Bottled water sales at the University of Toronto's Mississauga and Scarborough campuses will be phased out in the next three years.

"This is a significant victory for the University of Toronto community," says Clara Ho, Vice-President University Affairs of the University of Toronto Students' Union. "Student pressure has led the administration to commit to making all three campuses more sustainable and to take a stance against the commodification of water."

The University of Toronto's decision follows over a dozen other campuses that have pledged to go bottled water-free. For the past three years, students at UofT have been calling on the University administration to eliminate the sale of bottled water on campus, and to implement water refill stations for free access to water for members of the community. Students are now waiting to see the details of the phase-out plan. The University administration has suggested the majority of the St. George campus will move to being bottled water-free, but the federated colleges are among the areas that have yet to make the commitment.

"This is an important step in recognizing the problematic nature of the sale of bottled water and changing of attitudes towards public tap water," said Leanne Rasmussen, Coordinator of the Public Water Initiative. "Eliminating sale of bottled water on campus sends a strong message that we trust our public water systems."

"Our commitment is part of a growing movement across Canada to recognize that drinking water should be readily available on our campuses and should not be treated as a commodity," said Dan DiCenzo, Vice-President University Affairs and Academics of the University of Toronto Mississauga Students' Union. "The success of our Bottled Water-Free Campus campaign demonstrates that students can achieve positive social and environmental change when we work together."

The University of Toronto Students' Union represents 45,000 full-time undergraduate students at the University of Toronto and University of Toronto Mississauga.

SOURCE University of Toronto Students' Union

For further information:

Clara Ho, Vice-President University Affairs, University of Toronto Students' Union, (647) 896-6888
Dan DiCenzo, Vice-President University Affairs and Academics, University of Toronto Mississauga Students' Union,  (905) 515-1063
Leanne Rasmussen, Coordinator, Public Water Initiative, (647) 885-5742

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