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Cardiff Met - plastic free pledge

During a Green event in Feb 2018, Cardiff Metropolitan University invited it’s staff and students to put forward their Sustainability ideas via a ‘Campus Pledge Tree’. The number one suggestion was to reduce single- use plastic.

The Catering outlets were identified as the highest use areas of single use plastic; bottled water / soft drinks and single-use takeaway food containers.

Market research led to a collaboration with Hydrachill and Chilly’s Bottles, and the development of an alternative approach to plastic containers; 17water coolers were installed on campus, along with discounted re-usable bottles available for purchase on site.

Since the implementation (April 2018) over 1250 bottles have been sold, and we’ve surpassed 2 million free water vends via the water coolers. This is a 7.95% reduction in our waste recycling figures (equating to 7940kg of plastic).

The success of involving students and staff throughout the process led to the development of a similar trial with the implementation of single-use coffee cup collections (previously going to landfill), as well as a new Eco-Food box range, sold via the Catering outlets to encourage reuse of food containers and further behaviour change.