It is thought that the average person uses 400 plastic bottles per year, and will spend some £25,000 in their lifetime on bottled water. It costs 500 times more than tap water (0.097p a litre) and the bottled water industry is worth £100bn worldwide.
The production and consumption of bottled water is also drastically detrimental to the environment, with the UK bottled water industry alone releasing 350,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. Only one out of five plastic bottles is recycled, with the remaining bottles going to landfill which take between 400 and 1000 years to decompose.
Guild Vice-President Leigh-Angel Bevan, who is leading the campaign, said: “By bringing your own bottle into lectures, your workplace, or wherever you spend your time away from home, your positive behaviour can start a revolution of water saving and money saving – a behavioural change essential for a sustainable future.
“We are hoping to make a change here on campus to influence society by pledging to use reusable water bottles rather than purchasing throwaway bottled water.”
Drinking fountains have also been installed in the Sydney Jones and Harold Cohen Libraries, and another will be available in the newly refurbished Guild building when it is complete in May.
Students can take part in the BYOB campaign by pledging to the initiative and filling out a short survey where all respondents have the chance to win £100. Specially designed Guild flasks are available to buy from the online shop or from No. 5 Café.