Friday, 02 September 2022
In celebration of Zero Waste Week we’ve put together some ways you can reduce your use of disposables on campus and save some money in the process.
The national Zero Waste Week campaign is running from Monday 5 – Friday 9 September 2022, aiming to help everyone reduce waste and participate in the circular economy.
We thought we’d get involved by sharing four easy ways to help you ditch disposables at university, lessen your environmental impact, and save money. Remember the four Rs: Reuse, Refill, Recycle, Reward.
Reuse: Latte Levy
Did you know that you can pay 40p less for a drink bought on campus when you use a reusable cup?
The Latte Levy aims to encourage students and staff to use their own reusable cups rather than disposables ones and is in place across our catering outlets (though SU outlets have their own schemes in place):
- Bring your own cup to get a 20p discount
- Use a disposable cup and you’ll be charged an additional 20p on top of the drink price
Throughout August 2022, 2,860 drinks were sold in reusable cups in university catering outlets. That saved 9.44kg of plastic from the bin and prevented 105kg CO2e entering the atmosphere. Not to mention saving customers a total of £1,144.
Around 15% of drinks on campus are currently bought in reusable cups. That’s good but we can do so much better. 94% of staff and students previously told us they’d commit to using reusable cups. If you don’t already have one, you can buy a reusable cup from many outlets across our campuses.
Proceeds from the Latte Levy are reinvested in our Environmental Initiatives Fund to help reduce waste further and to set up other sustainability initiatives such as funding the replacement of disposables with crockery at some food outlets.
Refill: Water fountains
There are 53 water refill points across our campuses that you can use rather than buying a bottle of water. This includes eight new bottle-filling stations which tell you how many plastic bottles they have saved as you use them.
Since mid-May, over 26,000 plastic bottles have been saved just through the use of two water fountains at David Ross Sports Village.
View the map to find your nearest water fountain. New ones are coming soon to the Trent Building on University Park, The Atrium on Jubilee, Queen’s Medical Centre and various points across Sutton Bonington.
We’re also planning to install filtered drinking water taps in various staff kitchens to further reduce single-use plastic.
Recycle: Pens and writing instruments
Did you know that pens and other writing instruments can be recycled on campus? Pen recycling points are available in all libraries on University Park and other locations across our campuses with more coming soon. The pens go to a local school which raises money for charity by recycling them.
Find out more
Reward: Green Rewards
Sign up to Green Rewards to get rewarded for completing the above actions and more. If you sign up before Friday 7 October 2022 you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a £25 White Rose voucher.
There are over 25 activities on Green Rewards to help you reduce waste but also save energy, travel more sustainably, and do your bit to help the environment. Each month there are 10 £20 vouchers given away to those who earn the most green points. Every three months the best performing team gets to nominate a charity to receive £250.
Your sustainable choices matter. For more ideas on how to cut waste out of your life, visit the Zero Waste Week website.