Sales of bottled water will end at Western Washington University, starting in April.
The decision follows efforts of a student-led campaign that urged the university to eliminate on-campus sales, citing unsustainable impacts of bottled water distribution.
The move affects only single-use bottled water varieties without flavoring, carbonation or additives.
A task force of WWU students, faculty and staff is overseeing implementation of the new initiative. The task force’s efforts include exploring ways to offset lost revenue from bottled water sales, which make up nearly 10 percent of all cold beverage sales at the university, according to WWU.
University officials said once the ban begins WWU will be the largest college or university in Washington state to restrict bottled water sales.
Over the past decades, WWU students have led several eco-friendly initiatives and programs, including an on-campus recycling center, reusable water-bottle filling stations, and the 2005 implementation of a student fee that allows the university to purchase renewable energy credits to offset electricity usage.
Evan Marczynski, associate editor of The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or firstname.lastname@example.org.