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Originally published January 29 2011

Prominent university to ban bottled water

by Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Bottled water will soon be a thing of the past at the University of Canberra (UC) in Australia. At the prompting of student activists connected to the environmental group Do Something, the school has decided to cease all sales of bottled water beginning March 22, and provide drinking water through both conventional water fountains and water machines that fill reusable drinking containers.

"By supplying free water and cheap, chilled water, the university will be helping students to break a bottled water habit that's costing Australians half-a-billion dollars a year," said John Dee, founder of Do Something. "If the 13,000 students and staff at the University of Canberra can do this, there's no reason why every other university in Australia cannot do the same."

The South Wales town of Bundanoon banned water bottles back in 2009, upon which it installed the same water machines and fountains that UC plans to install. And according to Dee, the new water systems are both better for health and better for the environment.

"The bottles themselves take about 200ml (7oz) of oil to make, you can use up to three liters of natural water to produce one liter of bottled water, and we also know that about 43 percent of bottles are recycled so the rest ends up as rubbish or landfill," said UC vice-chancellor Stephen Parker. "Given that Canberra's got good and plentiful fresh water we just can't see the environmental argument to continue the sale of bottled water."

Though it is unclear from the announcement whether or not the new water has been purified, bottled water is not always pure, either. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted a test back in 2009 that found a variety of toxic substances in many brands of bottled water, including things like pharmaceutical drugs, fertilizer residues, solvents, fuel propellants, arsenic, heavy metals, and radioactive isotopes (

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