Figures released by the DESC show that St Ninian’s High School sold more than double the amount of bottled water in the week after TT22 than it did in 2018 or 2019.

The figures have been released following a question from Arbory, Castletown and Malew MHK Jason Moorhouse. 

Across its two sites, SNHS sold 1,353 flavoured waters and 341 plain waters (1,694 overall) in the week June 13 to June 17. In the same post TT week in 2018 and 2019, it sold 707 and 679 respectively.

In that same time, Ballakermeen sold a total of 2,390 bottles in 2018, 2,208 in 2019 and 2,534.

The Douglas high schools are outliers in this however, with the island’s other schools seeing a clear drop (pun intended) in the amount of water sold. 

In 2018, Ramsey Grammar School sold 1,208 bottles between June 11 and 15 and 1,131 between June 14 and 19 2019. However, in 2022, this was down to 578 cartons. 

Students at RGS were presented with refillable bottles in 2019 by Conister Bank, with the gov also installing more water filling stations. 

In Peel, QEII has seen a consistent decrease in each year that figures are available for, going from 863 in 2018 to 652 in 2019 and 567 in 2022. 

Castle Rushen has almost halved the amount of water it sells, going from 1,492 in 2018 and 1,101 in 2019 to 791 in 2022. 

Speaking to Gef, Mr Moorhouse said the figures raised the question of whether students are behaving in ‘more appropriate and environmentally friendly manner’ or whether money constraints were closer to the real reason. 

The MHK also said that the SNHS data ‘looks wrong’.

He added: ‘On 21st July 2022, as I was about to leave the Tynwald Chamber, I spotted a Question on my FB feed, which I had asked in 2019. I make frequent use of FB to encourage a conversation about the questions, which I ask.

‘I thought it would be interesting to ask for an update, to allow us to see whether sales have: fallen, remained at a relatively consistent level or actually risen. Originally, I had asked the question to see if the sales of bottled water were falling as environmental concerns became stronger.

‘In local gyms, sales of bottled water appear to be highest amongst younger customers and I was interested to get some data about sales in our schools. Between 2018 and 2019, a lot of work was done in local schools to encourage students to use recyclable bottles and this does seem to have a noticeable impact at RGS, QEII and CRHS. Sales at RGS and CRHS are down almost 50% and QEII by a third.’

The former teacher said that if the full data set is used, there is a 2.6% increase in sales over the period, whereas if SNHS’ figures are removed, then it shows a 30% drop since June 2018, which he said ‘does look impressive’.