In 2014, Laurier imposed a ban on disposable plastic water bottles, a ban that many students are still unfamiliar with. It was introduced to reduce the amount of waste created by students.
Since the ban, many franchises run accordingly with Laurier. Golden Grounds, for example, have stopped the sale of water bottles. Although franchises are in the know, many students and club organizers are not.
EcoHawks is a large committee on campus that promotes environmentally friendly habits. They generate activities that encourage helping the environment. Kendall Smilde, coordinator of EcoHawks, agreed to interview regarding the ban, in which she stated that she too “hadn’t learned about it until this week”.
“I don’t know who created it,” said Smilde. “I’m not sure if it maybe came from the sustainability office but the first time I heard about it was earlier this week.”
According to the Laurier website, the ban has been successful in many ways. People are no longer able to buy plastic bottles on campus, which makes it more difficult to access them. Because of this, many students have purchased reusable water bottles.
“I would like to think that there has been an impact. I know that in class and around campus, I see a lot more reusable water bottles than I see plastic, but I think it’s really good that we are no longer selling plastic water bottles, because that will also help encourage students to bring their own bottles. I hope to see it progress throughout the year, and maybe see no students bring plastic water bottles to class,” said Smilde.
Although there has been some impact on the portrayal of water bottles, there is still much work to be done. The movement has been running for three years now, and plastic bottles are still being used campus, but Laurier hopes to see improvement in the future.
“I think one thing we could do is to try to encourage students, and maybe get information out on why re-usable bottles are better than plastic water bottles,” said Smilde.
As there might be more promotion of this campaign, more clubs should take part in this movement to help students better understand the positive impact removing plastic bottles can have on the environment.