In 2015, York phased out plastic water bottle sales and installed more than 65 water refill stations in many of the buildings at both the Keele and Glendon campuses.
February 2015 – Water is a human right. This is the underlying message and motivation behind the Bottled Water Phase Out initiative taking place at York University. The ban on the sale of plastic bottled water began with the Canadian Federation of Students through the Take Back the Tap campaign, which encourages universities to take a stand against the privatization of water and to promote the public’s right to access clean and safe drinking water for free.
Many educational institutions, including universities in Canada and the United States, have already implemented this vital initiative, and York University will be joining them as the phase out comes to fruition in September 2015. York University committed to taking back the tap in April of 2012, when both the president of the York Federation of Students, Vanessa Hunt, and York President and Vice- Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri signed a pledge to officially begin the phase out.
Take Back the Tap is aimed at enabling a deep awareness of the issues that exist around access to water, a basic human right. As Pamela Persaud, member of the President’s Sustainability Council and chair of the bottled water phase out on York’s campuses, has said, “The University’s commitment to phase out the sale of bottled water is an important part of York’s global leadership in sustainability, social responsibility and justice.”