WasteNott — the plastics challenge

Introducing new ways to shop sustainably


A new zero-waste shop has opened at the University, offering a range of goods that are completely free from single-use plastic packaging.

Identifying the issue

When thinking about how customers shop for products on campus, it was found that a barrier to people engaging in more sustainable practises was the lack of sustainable alternatives.  

Often, products being sold were packaged in non-recyclable materials, and the containers used to carry the products were also made from the same.

Portland Zero products

Portland Zero is a permanent addition to the retail outlets in the Portland Building and opened its doors at the start of the university’s Sustainability Week (2 – 7 March).

It stocks a huge variety of products from nuts, cereals, grains and oils to eco -friendly cleaning products and toiletries, all of which are free from plastic packaging.

It also offers a range of wholefoods that are sold by weight, so customers can buy as much or as little as they need and can use their own containers, pick up a recyclable paper bag, or invest in a reusable jar or lunchbox.

There’s a refill station where people can fill up bottles with liquid products including oils and vinegars. Refilling is not only cheaper and better for the environment, but it’s also a great alternative to buying a new plastic bottle every time you run out.


How the shop was funded 

The shop was part-funded by money raised through the university’s latte levy scheme which put an extra 20p onto every drink purchased in a disposable cup, in a bid to encourage the use of reusable cups.

The latte levy helped to save more than 75,000 cups and raised over £60,000 in 2018/19 – money which is being reinvested into more interventions to reduce waste.


Funding sign 


Watch the launch of Portland Zero on ITV News 

Sustainability Team

Estate Office
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

email: sustainability@nottingham.ac.uk