College of St. Benedict bans sale of plastic water bottles

This just in from the College of St. Benedict:

CSB eliminates sale and purchase of plastic water bottles on campus

Effective Monday, Aug. 22, the College of Saint Benedict is the first college in Minnesota and one of nine in the United States to implement a water bottle policy which eliminates the sale and purchase of plain, plastic bottled water on campus, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

“Sustainability is central to our institutional values and mission. Not only are there environmental, economic and social costs of production, transport and sale of bottled water, it’s important to recognize that water is a fundamental human right. As such, we are choosing to decline to profit from its sale,” said Judy Purman, director of sustainability at CSB.

The policy includes the elimination of all bottled water from vending machines, and sales will be discontinued in the bookstore, dining venues and at athletic events. Campus offices will no longer have traditional water coolers. Employees and students, who resume classes Aug. 31, will be able to continue to bring bottled water from home or off-campus, if they desire.

As an alternative, 31 hydration stations (touch-free units mounted to the wall that dispense tap water) have been installed throughout the campus, with at least one in each building. During this initial transition year, the Office of Sustainability is providing reusable bottles to a variety of student and employee groups to encourage the use of the hydration stations.

“The cost of the installation of the 31 hydration stations is offset by the elimination of the water cooler contracts,” Purman noted. “By next year, those offices that have eliminated their water coolers will experience a cost savings.”

The process of implementing a water bottle policy, which began about a year ago, was encouraged by CSB President MaryAnn Baenninger and reviewed by several campus leadership groups and the CSB Student Senate.

“We took the time to do a lot of education. We conducted a forum on World Water Day last spring and shared a lot of information and statistics about the benefits of ‘banning the bottle.’ For example, the cost of a 20-ounce bottle of water is $1.50. That works out to $9.60 a gallon, almost three times the cost of gasoline. Statistics like that resonate with college students,” Purman said.

In addition to the water bottle policy change, CSB continues to broaden its sustainability practices by going “trayless” in the Gorecki Dining and Conference Center, also effective Monday, Aug. 22.  Trays are no longer available for guests to carry their plates of food and beverages. “The purpose of this change is to conserve resources including labor, water and soap,” Purman said. “We also believe that it will reduce the amount of food being thrown away.”

Plans also include having students conduct research to gauge student reactions and perceptions to the new “trayless” policy.

  • Jvanhouten01

    Wow!  The College has really been able to target things to improve student learning, lower their tuition, and increase the vigor of their programs.  No wait a minute.  Never mind.  These are just it’s mission, not their priorities!

  • Braindeadliberal

    Complete and total bullshit. 

    • Marena

      oh good we still have some people who aren’t complete idiots in the U.S

    • Serene

      There is no need for this.

    • Selena

      RESTFUL!!!! GET A LIFE!!!!!!!!!

    • Selena


  • Colette

    Nice Job writing this……… I have to go with saying yes for banning bottles because they harm our health and the environment…………..but others will SURELY have an opinion on things differently. I have recently written debates for my research along with Powtoons and Powerpoint about GMO crops, water bottle banning, cell phones in school banning, should girls and boys learn together, and many more interesting subjects. Thanks you for providing me with evidence that I can use for my essay and report. 😀

  • Selena

    Thank you for your help, but what are you trying to prove? I don’t understand clearly because there are not many details: explain please.

  • Selena

    Everybody needs water. I read in an article that kids are the most dehydrated when they are at school. Is this a good idea?

  • Selena

    I am studying science and medics and I am concerned about this piece of information. There are lists of Pros and Cons, and I feel highly that this article isn’t written to its best ability. Please take the time to revise it because I will not view it again; it was not a big help at all. I am very disappointed, but thank you for your time and efforts in the first place. I have been debating often about GMO crops, contact sports, schools, water bottles, cell phones, social networking, and many more interesting research, and I hope to hear from you soon! I think the author of this article should work harder to explain everything cleaner: This CAUSE, this EFFECT, why they are reacting this why, whose decision, etc. Anyways, nice job!