Monday 16 September 2019

Coca-Cola banned at UCD again - but you can have a Coke Zero

UCD will stop the sale of high-sugar drinks on campus. Photo: Mark Simpson
UCD will stop the sale of high-sugar drinks on campus. Photo: Mark Simpson

It has previously been banned from the campus entirely, but now the only Coca-Cola available at University College Dublin will be Coke Zero.

The college has become the first third-level institution in Ireland to stop the sale of high-sugar drinks on campus.

The decision followed a seven-week trial to curb the sale of unhealthy sugar-sweetened beverages across the university's 16 food and drink outlets.


Diet sodas, zero-calorie drinks or 100pc fruit juices will still be sold on campus, according to a statement from the college.

"Only drinks identified as containing caloric sugar additives that would be subject to the recently introduced sugar tax have been removed from campus outlets and vending machines," it said.

The issue of which drinks products are available at UCD has been long-running.

In 2010, a student vote overturned a seven-year-long decision to ban Coke products from sale on campus, in protest at alleged human rights abuses by the company of its workers in Colombia.

Coke has always strenuously denied these allegations.

Regarding the recent ban on sugary drinks, 600 students and UCD staff members were surveyed to see if they had noticed the absence and, if so, had they changed their drinking habits.

Checked against sales data from this period, it was found that the majority of people switch over to healthier alternatives without complaint.

Some 75pc of those who regularly purchased drinks high in sugar failed to notice the absence of these beverages during this seven-week period.

The majority of students said they supported, or at least did not oppose, the permanent removal of sugary drinks from campus following the trial.

In addition, retailers on campus reported seeing a spike in demand for no/low sugar drinks, with their uptake increasing by 7pc.

Coke did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.

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