Students have voted overwhelmingly to ban bottled water sales around the Union as the referendum passed by more than 1,000 votes.
The decision means that the Union will stop selling still bottled water in the Union shop within the next 12 months, and will lobby the University to do the same in its own outlets.
The Union shop will start selling reusable water bottles and more water fountains will be installed around the Union.
Ruth Fox, one of the students watching in the Raynor Lounge as the result was announced, said: “I’m just absolutely ecstatic that it’s actually passed.
“I was having my doubts beforehand.
“We have to start somewhere. I hope this will be the first step.
“The fact that we have managed to convince enough students to go back to water from a tap is a positive step and is significant I think.”
Last year’s Finance Officer Martin Bailey led the campaign against the bottled water referendum, and said he was disappointed with the result: “I haven’t seen the voter turn out so don’t know if it was close.
“A few people I spoke to have abstained because they didn’t have an opinion either way.
“Voting ‘no’ would have been the status quo and the preferred option.
“It’s a flawed policy in the sense that the Union can sell sparkling and flavoured water, and someone could come in and set up a dedicated outlet just selling water.
“There are a lot of ways you can still satisfy students wanting bottled water.”
The decision passed by 3,325 ‘yes’ votes to 2,320 ‘no’ votes, with 411 students choosing to abstain.
The Union said this policy would allow it to lead the way in environmental sustainability, and help students save money.