Ban the Bottle SFU

What is Ban the Bottle SFU?

Ban the Bottle (BTB) SFU is a student-led initiative that aims to ban the sale of bottled water at SFU and help the university maintain its position as a sustainability leader. The organization successfully sought the support of the Pacific Water Research Centre, and has been working with the group since 2018. BTB has partnered with the SFU Sustainability Office, SFU Ancillary Services and the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) to support the phase out of water bottles. Here are the achievements of the group since their conception:

2018

  • Officially formed Ban the Bottle group.
  • Organized goals and presented to SFU Ancillary Services.
  • Hosted a documentary screening of ‘Tapped’ in fall 2018.

2019

  • Championed a petition in early 2019 which received nearly 600 digital signatures, and hundreds more on paper.
  • Partnered with students in the SD401 course, who conducted research and wrote a report on the environmental, health, and social impacts of bottled water, the business case for expanding the water bottle refill station capacity at SFU, and recommendations for the location of new refill stations. This was presented to Mark McLaughlin, Chief Commercial Services Officer of SFU Ancillary Services. Read the report here.
  • Hosted World Water Day 2019 with a panel of speakers including Lina Azeez, Campaign Manager at Watershed Watch Salmon Society; Rhiannon Moore, researcher at Ocean Wise Plastics Lab; and Sonia Furstenau, Green Party MLA and Watershed Advocate.
  • Partnered with the SFSS to provide students with free reusable water bottles.
  • Joined the Re-Use for Good Task Force in the summer of 2019. RFG is an initiative led by a Task Force comprised of BTB students, SFSS representatives, SFU Ancillary Services, and the Sustainability Office to promote reusable alternatives to single-use plastics and products at SFU. RFG is leading the phase-out of plastic bottles from vending machines and dining locations. Reusable bottles are being sold in their place.  
  • Became an official club in fall 2019.
  • Produced three summary reports to share with SFU Ancillary Services in December 2019 regarding the social impacts of the bottled water industry, the health impacts of plastic production on local communities, and the positive impacts of student outreach and communication.

2020

  • Hosted Heart of the Fraser documentary screening in spring 2020.
  • Sought and received commitment from SFU to invest $30,000 in upgrading water bottle refill station infrastructure throughout the Burnaby Campus, and provided input on the location of new stations. Upgrades are currently underway.
  • Secured a commitment from SFU Ancillary Services and the Sustainability Office to phase out plastic water bottles during phase 2 of the Re-use for Good initiative.

How can I get Involved?

There are many ways that you can help to support this initiative. Stay up to date with opportunities through their Facebook page and Instagram. Contact them with questions or inquiries at banbottlesfu@gmail.com.