SP0179: Ban the Bottle

Status: COMPLETED December 2017 - October 2019

The Ban the Bottle Project aims to reduce waste on McGill campuses by diverting plastic water bottles from the waste stream, promoting reusable alternatives & increasing access and awareness of municipal water sources.

Read the full project description

Bottled water is sold at McGill dining halls, on-campus retail locations and vending machines, on top of being widely distributed at conferences, school events and Frosh. Single-use, plastic water bottles are associated with many environmental concerns, such as the amount of resources utilized in their production, distribution and refrigeration, and the amount of waste generated by their disposal. Reliance on bottled water does not align with the university's efforts to achieve zero waste and carbon neutrality.

The Ban the Bottle project involves the development and implementation of a policy phasing out the sale of bottled water on campus, while simultaneously increasing access to water fountains and raising awareness of 're-usability.' 

The objective of the project is to institutionalize a sustainable way of thinking by shifting reliance away from costly, bottled water and towards municipal, free water. The project will be comprised of three simultaneous phases:

1) the phasing out of bottled water from on campus retail locations, dining halls and vending machines;

2) the installation and improvement of 25 water fountains in current "dry zones;"

3) ongoing education and outreach activities, that can include (but are not limited to) a promotional campaign leading to the kick-off of the process, signage throughout the campus, interactive water fountains, and more general awareness-raising.

An intern will be hired to launch the campaign and coordinate all education and outreach activities related to the ban. Along with water fountains, the project would also increase access to reusable water bottles.

Resources from the SPF will be used to purchase and install 25 water fountains, design promotion materials, and compensate the Ban the Bottle Intern.

Connect with this project


McGill Office of Sustainability

Related Projects

Mac Water Bottle Refill Station (SP0029)

Water Assessment Intern (SP0073)




amelia.peres [at] mcgill.ca (Amelia Peres)

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