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Cowichan’s VIU campus a plastic water bottle-free zone

Vancouver Island University is weaning itself from the bottle — the plastic bottle, that is.

VIU campuses are phasing out the sale of plastic water bottles between now and June, but Cowichan’s ahead of the curve.

“The Cowichan campus was designed as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building, so it’s already built in water fountains around campus, and the cafeteria is not selling bottled water,” VIU’s Toni O’Keefe said.

She added that while the bottle-ban is part of the university’s environmental values, individuals are still allowed to tote their own plastic bottles in campus.

The ban is most relevant at the Nanaimo campus, which still sells plastic-bottled water.

“We know there are logistics that have to be worked out, such as allowing on-campus vendors to adjust their product lines, and developing policy around the use of bottled water in emergency situations,” VIU Students’ Union chairperson Katie Marocchi said in a media release.

“This is why we are working toward a June 2012 date.”

“As an institution of higher learning we have a social responsibility to educate the population regarding sustainability issues,” O’Keefe added in the media release about the student-driven ban.

“We are proud of our students and pleased to support this initiative.”

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