Plastic bag sales drop

Sales of single-use plastic carrier bags on campus reduced by 7,400 between April 2018 and April 2019.

Sustainable Food and Drink Initiatives

Reduction in sales of single-use carrier bags

In November 2018, a partnership began between the University Catering and Retail team and the Students' Guild, designed to both support local charities and reduce the number of plastic carrier bags sold in the Market Place shops.

The initiative means that customers buying a carrier bag in the Market Place Forum are given a token to vote for one of 4 selected charities. A donation is then made to the charity that receives the highest number of votes.

Since the end of last year, the initiative has seen over £1,440 donated to charities. Single-use plastic bag purchases have also reduced by a staggering 7,400 between April 2018 and April 2019.

Reuseable Water Bottles

  • Fresh Ideas, the University hospitality team have introduced more sustainable ways of delivering water to customers. Working with a local supplier of bottled water, the labels have been rebranded with messages encouraging people to reuse the bottle once it is emply, as opposed to recycling after just one use. Water dispensers are also being designed with messages to encourage the refilling of empty bottles. 
  • Give Me Tap reusable water bottles are available to buy from Eat and Shop outlets, encouraging staff and students to fill their bottle from a water or drinks point on campus instead of buying plastic bottles. The purchase of every Give Me Tap bottle contributes to the charity by providing clean drinking water to someone living in Africa for 5 years.

Read more about the University's commitment to reducing plastic waste in the UoE Single Use Plastic Strategy 2018.

Disposable Cup Recycling - Simply Cups

From Monday 14 January disposable cups can be fully recycled on both the Streatham and St Luke’s campuses.

As part of the University’s waste and recycling strategy, a number of Simply Cup bins are being introduced on campus, where unwanted cups can be sustainably disposed of.

Although the University Keep Cup campaign has been hugely popular, it is recognised that sometimes, customers find themselves buying a hot drink in a disposable cup.

The bins will have three separate areas for lids, fluids and the cup itself, which is important to avoid contamination. This initiative, which will initially be introduced over a 2 year trial period, forms another part of the University’s work to reduce the amount of general waste we send for incineration and increase the amount we divert away for recycling.

The bins will be located in high footfall areas, including:

  • Cross Keys at St Luke's
  • The ground floor of DH1
  • Peter Chalk Building
  • The cafe area in Queen's Building
  • The cafe area in Amory Building

Simply Cups use the recycled disposable cups to make a range of items including new recyclable cups, stationery, paper, furniture and even flooring. 

University KeepCups

The hugely popular University branded KeepCups are still available from the Eat and Shop outlets on campus. Choose from a range of new colours or clear glass from just £8.99.  

As part of a joint initiative, the University Eat & Shop and Student's Guild outlets have reduced hot drink prices by 25p, so when you use your KeepCup (or other reusable mug) in one of the University or Guild outlets on campus, you will pay the lower price. If you use a disposable cup, it will cost an extra 25p on top. Think of it like the carrier bag fee.

There’s enough plastic in 20 disposable cups and lids to make one KeepCup, and after 15 uses you’ll save energy and resources, as well as waste. Will you #GiveUpYourPaperCup?

Retail and Catering Environmental Commitments

The Retail and Catering Team at the University have made the following environmental commitments: