C-Stores Phase Out Bottled Water at University

Students at Chicago-area school campaigned to reduce plastic waste

By 
Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

bottled water

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Convenience stores at Northwestern University will phase out stocking bottled water over the next couple of months, according to a report in the university's online publication North by Northwestern.

Pura Playa, a school group built on the concept of reducing plastic waste, has worked to eliminate bottled-water sales on campus for several years, according to the report.

"We ... are proud to say that Northwestern University has committed to phasing out the sale of bottled-water in its c-stores this year," the group announced on its Facebook page this past week. "This is the first step in our school going bottled-water free, reducing our plastic footprint and embracing tap water."

The group worked with the school's associate vice president for student affairs and director of sustainability to drive the bottled-water-free campaign. These administrators coordinated with dining, facilities management and various other parts of Northwestern administration to initiate the phaseout, according to the report.

Pura Playa is part of the NU organization Engineers for a Sustainable World. It runs the "Northwestern Thinks Outside the Bottle" campaign, a project focused on reducing plastic waste.

"This is the very first part of the bottled-water phaseout," one project manager told the website. "There are many other places and events to tackle on our timeline for Northwestern going bottled-water free."

Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., isn't the first college to ban bottled-water sales. The University of Vermont banned the sale of bottled water on its campus in 2013 to cut down on single-use bottles in the waste stream.

Fourteen national parks and the cities of San Francisco and Concord, Mass., have also banned the sale of single-use plastic water bottles.

Steve Holtz, CSP/Winsight By Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News
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