LUU should lobby the Co-op to stop selling bottled water

Passed: May 2019 (13th)

What do you want? / Why do you want it?

Having no bottled water was a cornerstone of Essentials. Leeds was the first student union in the country to stop selling bottled water, and it was something to be proud of. For it to be brought back, without consulting students, doesn't seem right. It seems to show that the Union prioritizes profit over sustainability.

The commitment to zero one-use plastic was a massive statement from LUU on a national scale, and to have regressed to the old practices within only a few months is quite disappointing. I assumed the decision to not sell bottled water would have been one communicated to the Co-op in the negotiations of the changeover. This should be rectified as soon as possible.

Expires: May 2022 (13th)

Submitted By: Megan Ardis and Tom Paul

Officer: Union Affairs

Area of Work: Campaigns


December 2020: Izzy (Union Affairs Officer) and Lotti (Community Officer) have discussed this policy with the Sustainability Advisory Board and they came up with ideas on how to approach this as a campaign. The conclusion reaches was that the direction of this campaign should be centred around encouraging students to reduce the amount of bottled water they buy to reduce consumption.

August 2020: The Co-Op in LUU remains closed, and will be until mid-September. Hopefully once they're reopen and have a staffteam in place we can pick this campaign back up. Lotti the new Community Officer has sustainability as a priority over the year, and will look to work on this with the new Community Rep team.

June 2020: Unfortunately there are no major updates to this work over the summer as a result of lots of LUU staff being furloughed (ongoing), as well as the LUU building and campus being closed. As staff return to work and the new Officer team settle into their roles this will be picked up again.

March 2020: Megan has been linked up with a range of student campaigners, including the Community Reps, but we're waiting on response from Co-Op still.

December 2019: Megan and Deputy Chief Exec (Operations) met with the Co-Op and had a fruitful discussion. Waiting on Co-Op to come back to us with some background info, Megan continuing to build relationships with other student groups as well with support from PET.

November 2019: PET have been meeting with Megan across this month, and have set her up in a meeting with a Co-Op representative for the end of the month. Working as well to engage other student campaigners.

June 2019: PET have met with Megan. alongside Chris the Union Affairs Officer and commercial staff from LUU. Together they're working on a few different campaign approaches for the new academic year.

May 2019: New Policy. LUU previously had policy regarding the sale of bottled water in the Union shop, Essentials, becoming the first Students' Union in the country to ban the sale of bottled water. This policy expired in 2011, but bottled water continued not to be stocked until the Co-Op franchise took over from Essentials in 2019.