Update: The Newest Colleges and Universities to Ban the Bottle

Published On July 11, 2012 | By Hannah Ellsbury | Articles, School

Colleges and Universities have been known to consume more plastic bottles annually than most other organizations. Many students and staff dislike this statistic and are taking the stand to bring an end to the sale of bottled water within their campuses. Many efforts have been taken by various schools around the country including the establishment of campus-wide campaigns promoting sustainability including Take Back the Tap at University of Nevada Las Vegas and Tap That at Vassar College.

As more and more Colleges and Universities take the steps towards Banning the Bottle, we want to recap and congratulate the schools that have already or are currently working towards Banning the Bottle from their campuses.

The map of campaigns we previously posted on Ban the Bottle includes many schools that have already initiated their own Ban the Bottle campaign.

Take a look at this map which includes a list of the most recent schools that have started a campaign towards Banning the Bottle and those schools who have successfully accomplished the campus-wide bottle ban.


View Colleges and Universities Banning the Bottle in a larger map

  • Brown University- Rhode Island
  • Central Michigan University- Michigan
  • College of St. Benedict- Minnesota
  • Concordia University- Canada
  • Cornell University- New York
  • Dartmouth College- New Hampshire
  • Emerson College- Massachusetts
  • Evergreen State College- Washington
  • Georgian College- Canada
  • Hampshire College- Massachusetts
  • Harvard University- Massachusetts
  • Loyola University- Illinois
  • Macalester College- Minnesota
  • Muhlenberg College- Pennsylvania
  • Princeton University- New Jersey
  • Seattle Central Community College
  • St. Mary’s College- Canada
  • St. Michael’s College- Vermont
  • St. Norbert College- Wisconsin
  • UC Berkeley- California
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas- Nevada
  • University of Toronto- Canada
  • University of Vermont- Vermont
  • University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point- Wisconsin
  • University of Wisconsin Madison- Wisconsin-NEW!
  • Vancouver Island University- Canada
  • Vanier College- Canada
  • Vassar College- New York
  • Many More!

Let us know if your school has Banned the Bottle or has started a campaign and we’ll put you on the map!

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23 Responses to Update: The Newest Colleges and Universities to Ban the Bottle

  1. Anna says:

    How do I get my Seattle on the map? The year before last, Seattle Central Community College successfully implemented a campaign to stop the sale of bottled water at all three campus stores (the vending machines are the next target). Seattle University has stopped selling bottled water on campus entirely.

    • Hannah Ellsbury says:

      Hey Anna! I will add Seattle Central Community College to our map. Great job Banning the Bottle in all your campus stores! Good luck with the next challenge!

  2. What about reusable water bottles made out of metal or glass?

    • Hannah Ellsbury says:

      Many students are switching from plastic water bottles to reusable water bottles and filling them up at home or their schools supplied hydration stations.

  3. Kali says:

    Is there a list of schools that have successfully banned the bottle and a separate list of schools that are trying to or are all the schools included on the same list? Thanks

    • Hannah Ellsbury says:

      This is a combined list of schools that have successfully banned the bottle and of those that are working towards the ban. We will hopefully soon have a separate list for both.

  4. Laura says:

    University of Wisconsin at Madison has not banned plastic water bottles, unfortunately. As a student there I can guarantee that it does not belong on that map. However, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point has.

    • Hannah Ellsbury says:

      Thanks for the update Laura. Hopefully University of Wisconsin at Madison can ban the sale of plastic water bottles campus-wide within the near future. Keep us posted!

      • Aaron Conradt says:

        The University of Wisconsin Madison will be making a strong push on this campaign starting this month. Multiple student Organizations will be in collaboration to work towards a ban on the water bottles on campus. The campus does belong on the map!

        • Hannah Ellsbury says:

          Hey Aaron!

          Thanks for the update! University of Wisconsin Madison has been added to the most recent map of campaigns. Keep us updated with any progress towards the ban!

          • Hey everybody,

            So the campaign has kick started here at UW-Madison. A petition is circling the campus as we speak as well as online at change.org under Bottle Free Badgers. A blog has also been created as well as a facebook page. The campaign has only been official for about a week now, so there’s a lot of work to do yet, but a lot of progress has been made. Meeting are setup to talk about the contracts with certain buildings. UW-Madison is onboard with this campaign, and will not be stopping.

          • Hannah Ellsbury says:

            This is so great to hear Aaron! Congratulations to UW-Madison and those who are participating in the petition!

  5. Chris McCarthy says:

    Plymouth State University has begun seriously looking at the possibility of banning bottled water and I was wondering if there were any common roadblocks (we assume that most contracts are similar when dealing with exclusivity contracts from major companies) or successful steps other schools took in banning bottled water?

    • Hannah Ellsbury says:

      Thanks for the comment Chris! I say your best option is to reach out to those schools who have successfully Banned the Bottle and contact their sustainability coordinator to see what barriers they faced and how they confronted those issues. Check out our map for a list of schools that have Banned the Bottle. http://www.banthebottle.net/map-of-campaigns/

  6. Kasey says:


    I am looking at doing my Girl Scout Gold Award project on something similar to this at my public high school. While I cannot ban the bottle because my school is a public school that sells the bottles at lunch to pay for subsidized lunches for students who cannot afford them, I am looking to outfit my school to make them water bottle refill friendly to promote the use of reusable water bottles the reuse and recycling of plastic water bottles. So I have a question: 1) Any advice/help from anyone who has done this?


    • Hannah Ellsbury says:

      Hi Kasey!

      Thanks for the comment! What a great idea for your Girl Scout Gold Award project!

      I would recommend, if you are looking to make your school reusable water bottle refilling friendly, to look towards the various refilling stations that are available. You could check out the “Hydration Station” from Brita: http://www.britahydrationstation.com/.

      In addition, contact a company such as Nalgene that could help you create customized reusable water bottles, with your schools logo or mascot on them, for you to sell to students, staff, etc. With those bottles, students could fill them up at the refilling stations!

      I hope this helps! Good luck on your project!

  7. Julie says:

    Another solution for schools and campuses is to bottle their own tap water. On site, schools can lease or buy an appliance the size of a kitchen refrigerator that sanitizes the bottles, fills the bottles with filtered tap water, seals and caps the bottles. The bottles are sold at venues just like traditional bottles, but are then returned, washed/sanitized, filled and resold again. The aluminum recycled bottles eliminate the plastic bottles, maintains the convenience of bottled water (tap), and maintains the revenue stream. It also gives great opportunity to brand and advertise and customize the bottles. Football schedules, green messages, school logos, etc.

  8. you my look in to insalling water filling station i found a great filling station in Houston TX.at a place called dreamtree family not only do you fill your owen recycled gal. of water but it also has good health benefits of Antioxidant / Alkaline Water the address is 5757 Ranchester DR ,suite 300 Houson, Tx i also noted no small plastic bottles where used . this my be a great thing for all schools and university.to think about. i visited a site called dreamtreefamily.com / j f .

  9. Illini Dad says:

    I would love to see the University of Illinois Champaign/Ubana ban the bottles! The on-campus litter is a huge problem and water bottles make up a large part of the debris. Reusable stainless steel bottles would help greatly. 30,000 students = a LOT of wasted plastic!!

    • Hannah Ellsbury says:


      Thanks for the comment! Check out our “Start a Campaign” page for some ideas to get the University of Illinois to Ban the Bottle across campus! Keep us updated and use us as a resource if needed!

  10. Kelsey Baker says:

    Hello –

    Has anyone ever encountered problems with university contracts? I am leading a campaign at Santa Clara University and our school is in the first year of a seven year contract with Coke (yuck). I’ve been told it is very difficult (some say impossible) to go against the contract. I know it can be possible – we have great support from the student body and faculty. Any advice? Thanks!

    Kelsey Baker

    • Tomás Bosque says:

      @Kelsey – it is very difficult to go up against the big soda companies. Nonetheless, it has been done before. It requires strength and a great position for making a green change at your school.

  11. Geethi says:

    Hey! York University from Canada has done a complete ban on water bottles too! :)

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