Past Campaigns

A Bottled Water Free Campus

On November 24, 2010 the Concordia Student Union, TapThirst and ASFA hosted a Bottled Water Panel Discussion and Open Forum at Concordia University.  The Panelists were Tony Clarke (founder of the Polaris Institute), Joanna Eyquem (Freshwater Scientist, Part-time lecturer at Concordia), John Challinor (a representative of the Bottled Water Industry of Canada and Nestle Waters), and Justin Sherwood (President of Refreshments Canada).

We are launching one of the biggest sustainability campaigns to ever hit Concordia University, a campaign for a bottled water free Campus!

We are fighting to discourage people from buying bottled water and to use and feel good about their choice to drink tap water.

Graphic by Julia Wolfe

Bottled water is a growing industry that threatens water safety, equity, and ecosystem health. The United Nations has declared, “The human right to drinking water is fundamental to life and health.”. But when water becomes a commodity to be bought and sold, it means those who can afford it get it while those who can’t go thirsty. Marketing of bottle water has made it a fad, where a bottle of mineral water has become a lifestyle accessory. Marketing strategies play on our fears of tap water safety, while in reality, no scientific evidence supports the notion that bottled water is any safer than tap water. Finally, allowing our water commons to fall into the hands of big business, allowing them to package and remove water from ecosystems where life depends on it is irresponsible and dangerous.

Its time we take back the tap!

We intend to make this one of the most comprehensive websites in terms of information, as well as give you a number of opportunities to get involved. Click the links above to find out more facts, and clue yourself into the reasons why bottled water has no place on campus.

- Bottled water is 2000 times more energy intensive then tap water. For example, approximately 3.4 megajoules to manufacture the packaging, bottle and cap of a one-litre plastic bottle (Source: Pacific Institute).
- The 31.2 billion litres of bottled water consumed annually in the United States, uses more than 17 million barrels of oil to produce(Source: Pacific Institute).
- It takes 3 litres of 1 to produce 1 litre of bottled water (Source: Pacific Institute).
- According to one report, 235,086 tons of plastic bottles were generated and approximately 84,744 tons were recovered and recycled in 2002.
- Approximately 2.25 billion liters of bottled water is sold in Canada every year . This means that about 215.68 million kilograms (475.49 million pounds) of plastic is used to bottle water every year. That is more than the weight of 1328 empty Boeing 747 airplanes!
- In Canada, unless bottled water is specifically labeled “spring” or “mineral” it can come from any source – there is currently no regulatory requirement that other types of bottled water declare the source of the water used for their manufacture . Over 25% of bottled water sold in Canada is packaged tap water.
- Studies have found that much of the bottled water for sale contains huge amounts of bacterial contaminants, and some contain organic chemicals (such as industrial solvents and chemicals leached from plastics) and inorganic contaminants (such as arsenic). One current study found 38 pollutants in 10 of the biggest bottled water brands.
- Bottled water in North America costs anywhere from 240 to 10,000 times more than tap water. In fact, we now are paying much more for bottled water than we are for the same amount of gasoline.