Water Bottle Refill

Why is buying bottled water a problem?

It costs you money. Australians spend more than half a billion dollars a year on bottled water. Although people consistently complain about the price of petrol we spend more per litre on bottled water. If you were to buy enough bottled water to drink the recommended intake of 8 glasses per day this would cost you approximately $3650 a year (based on $2.50 for a 500mL bottle). The same amount of tap water would cost you just $0.98 per year. So save the cash and tap it...it’s free!

It uses lots of energy. Our use of bottled water in Australia generates more greenhouse gas emissions in a year than 13,000 cars over the same timeframe. This is because of the extraction of water, manufacturing of plastic bottles, transportation, refrigeration and recycling/disposal all use electricity and fossil fuels such as diesel and petroleum.

The production of bottles wastes finite materials. Plastic is a petroleum based product. Petroleum is a resource that is in limited supply and fast diminishing. We should be using this for essentials not disposables.

Our natural environment and communities are impacted when the water intended for bottling is diverted away from its natural route.

Bottled water creates large amounts of waste. Plastic bottles are among the 10 most common rubbish items picked up on Clean up Australia Day. Australia recycles only 36% of PET plastic drink bottles, so around 373 million plastic water bottles end up as waste each year.

Make a pledge

Take the challenge and make a pledge to use a reusable water bottle for a week, a month, a year or all the time. Visit the 'Pledge to Refill' site to make a pledge today!

What sort of water bottle should I use? 

Thinking about plastic bottles?

Some research has shown that Bisphenol A (BPA), a key component in polycarbonate plastics, has been found to leach into the water of bottles that are made from it. Most manufacturers now produce BPA-free plastic drink bottles. Keep a look out for these when purchasing a reusable plastic drink bottle.

Can’t I just re-use the disposable water bottle that I bought some water in?

Some tests have shown that the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic used to make disposable plastic bottles can leach Antimony, a heavy metal, which may leach if the bottle reaches high temperatures for example: after being left in the sun for prolonged periods. Some online articles also state people should be careful of bacterial building up in these bottles as PET is a porous plastic and can be difficult to clean thoroughly.

What about other options?

Stainless steel drink bottles are made from food grade materials and do not leach any chemicals into the water. They are lightweight, have a long life span and can be recycled at the end of their life.

Aluminium drink bottles are also lightweight; however they need to have a lining to ensure the aluminium doesn’t leach into the liquids.

What about for exams?

UOW requires that all students use a completely clear (uncoloured) water bottle with no labels or writing for exams.  To avoid single use bottles it is best to choose a clear reusable drink bottle that  meets the exam requirements and you can use it all the time .

Where can I refill my water bottle on Campus?

There are many locations on campus where water bottle refill stations and bubblers are provided. The UOW 'Beta' interactive campus map illustrates all the locations. 

View map at full size

Refill Campaign "Refill it's that simple"

UOW Creative Arts students in 2012 were assigned the task of coming up with marketing material and concepts for a reusable drink bottle campaign. The Environment Unit along with a group of students selected the strongest ideas for this campaign. ‘Refill...it’s that simple’ and ‘Tap It...It’s Free’.

For more information on the ‘Refill...it’s that simple’ campaign contact the Environment Unit at: environment_team@uow.edu.au

The information presented on this page has been sourced from the following sites. For more information please visit their links:

Clean Up Australia (Bottled water fact sheet)

Pacific Institute

World Health Organisation

Go Tap Campaign accessible via the Do Something website

Sydney Water's  Campaign

Where does tap water come from?

What does tap water taste like?

Bottled Water: A summary of the facts

1 out of 6: the number of people worldwide that do not have access to safe, reliable drinking water.

1: one of the ten most common rubbish items collected on Clean Up Australia Day.

3: the quantity of water used to produce a plastic bottle as a factor of the amount required to fill it.

5: the number of ways that energy is used to produce bottled water: extracting, manufacturing, transporting, refrigerating and recycling/disposing.

64: the percentage of PET plastic drink bottles end up as waste.

98: the cost in cents to drink eight standard glasses of tap water per day for a year.

3650: the number of dollars per year it would cost you to drink 8 standard glasses per day of bottled water.

13000:  the number of cars that create the same amount of green house gas emissions per year as our use of bottled water in Australia.

500,000,000: the number of dollars spent annually in Australia on bottled water.

783,000,000: the number of people worldwide that do not have access to safe, drinking water.

Last reviewed: 4 April, 2017