Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Loyola Students Ban Bottled Water

UnCap LUC:  Student Environmental Alliance Take On a Campaign to Ban the Sale of Bottled Water at Loyola University Chicago

The UnCap LUC is a campaign to educate the Loyola community on the issues associated with corporate ownership of a resource necessary for life - water.  Students groups, Student Environmental Alliance (SEA) in partnership with Loyola's Unified Student Government Association (USGA) focused on the growing concern of local water privatization and fair access to water on a global level.  In March 2012 almost two years into the educational campaign, Loyola students voted to end the sale of bottled water on campus.  The student body through voting in support of the ban:

  • Consider the sale of bottled water on campus in conflict with the Jesuit tradition and Loyola's mission 'to be in service of humanity through learning, justice and faith'.
  • Feel that safe and accessible water is a fundamental human right and must not be handled in ways that put profits over people.

As a result of the vote, Loyola is phasing out bottled water from campus stores, catering and vending machines starting August of 2012 through to the end of 2013. 

In support of the change and the new policy, water refill stations have been installed and are available at various locations on both the Lake Shore and Water Tower campuses.  Plus reusable water bottles are distributed to new incoming students and through other programming and events at Loyola.

The educational campaign continues and SEA created the UnCap Frequently Asked Questions document for others to learn more about the campaign and developed a brief list of impacts associated with water privatization.

Impacts of Water Privatization and Bottled Water

  • Regionally, the Great Lakes are the world's largest source of fresh water.

  • Ground water levels have dropped by as much as 40 feet in Mehdigani, India home to a bottling facility.

  • According to a 2001 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report, roughly 1.5 million tons of plastic are used in bottling 89 billion liters of water each year.

  • People spend 240 to 1000+ percent more per gallon for bottled water than they typically do for tap water.

Useful Links

Corporate Accountability International

Earth Policy Institute

Food and Water Watch

Natural Resources Defense Council