Plastic gets the tap
EDITH Cowan University will start phasing out plastic water bottles at its campuses next week through a joint initiative with the ECU Guild.
The university will limit the use of plastic water bottles at its Joondalup, Mt Lawley and Bunbury campuses from the start of semester 2.
WA Screen Academy masters student Ana Victoria Neves approached the university about banning plastic bottles after a lecturer showed her class a video about plastic pollution.
“It was so confronting to see children swimming in an ocean full of plastic,” she said.
Miss Neves said the class of about 30 students agreed to stop using disposable coffee cups and plastic water bottles.
The Northbridge resident thought it would be a good idea to expand across the university and approached vice-chancellor Steve Chapman.
As similar initiatives had backfired at other universities due to the student backlash, they sought support from the guild, which readily came on board.
“The university support has been so incredible,” Miss Neves said.
“It would be great to see students embrace it and make a change.
“Hopefully this also becomes the change that other universities want to see and they implement something similar.”
ECU will start by providing water refill stations at the 40 events it holds on campus each year.
The guild has pledged to no longer permit the sale of single use plastic water bottles at its events, instead providing hydration stations.
The university is also investigating options to increase the number of drinking fountains on campus, discuss alternatives to single-use water bottles with commercial tenants, and offer free or discounted multi-use bottles.
“With around 30,000 students and 1800 staff, we can make a huge difference by taking this first step to limit single-use plastic water bottles at our campus events,” Professor Chapman said.
Edith Cowan University student Ana Victoria Neves and vice-chancellor Steve Chapman.