WasteNott — the plastics challenge

About the challenge



We throw away more than 1.5 million plastic drinks bottles and disposable coffee cups each year on campus.


In 2018, we asked you to share your thoughts on reducing single-use plastic across our UK campuses.

99% of survey respondents said they support the initiative. The results show that we want to break our dependency on single-use plastic.

Using your feedback, we've taken action and introduced a number of initiatives around the University to help cut back on single-use plastic use.


Actions we've taken

"Reducing single-use plastic on campus is an important part of our commitment to environmental sustainability."

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Shearer West


 The survey results

More than 3,000 people completed the Plastics Challenge survey. Here's what we learned.


New WasteNott graphic1 


Accessible text-only version

About the survey

  • Survey took place May 2018
  • 3,219 responses 
  • 99% support reducing single-use plastic on campus 

The responses showed

  • 94% of respondents would commit to using reusable hot drink cups (41% do so already, 37% said they were ‘very likely’ to do so in the future, 16% said they were 'likely’ to do so)
  • 98% of respondents would commit to reusing plastic bottles (78% do so already, 15% were ‘very likely’ to do so, 5% were ‘likely’ to do so)
  • Just under half of respondents don’t currently buy bottled water 3 out of 4 respondents already use a reusable water bottle. Just over ¼ of respondents already say no to single-use plastic cutlery, with just under ½ already saying no to plastic straws.

Your top priorities

  • Reuse: 1 in 5 respondents asked us to sell reusable drink cups at University catering outlets
  • Refill: One quarter of survey respondents ranked instalment of water fountains as the most important priority
  • Refuse: 68% of respondents said there were likely or very likely to commit to reducing the number of products they buy that come in single use plastic packaging.

Sustainability Team

Estate Office
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

email: sustainability@nottingham.ac.uk