28 January 2019

1 min read

Catering Services are cutting down on single-use plastics at the University by replacing plastic milk sachets and cups with alternatives to help tackle plastic pollution and waste.

Over the past four months at University cafes, Catering have:

  • changed plastic cold drink cups to eco-friendly corn starch cups to save nearly 60,000 cups a year
  • swapped plastic cutlery for bamboo alternatives to stop using between 10,000 and 15,000 plastic cutlery a year.

Now, they have started using traditional glass milk bottles instead of plastic milk sachets at training events and meetings. The bottles are dropped off by the dairy and collected the next day to be reused. The bottle can be reused over and over again until it breaks, when it can then be recycled into another glass bottle.

Catering plan to roll out glass milk bottles at all events, which would save nearly 13,000 milk sachets a year.

From today (28 January), the team have also started using large milk dispensers within University coffee shops to reduce plastic use even further.

Nick Leach, Head of Catering Services said: “We are committed to reducing single-use plastics across campus. We must be compliant with hygiene regulations, but as soon as an alternative to plastic becomes available we will use it.”

Catering have already taken measures such as supporting Fairtrade, introducing a vegetarian/vegan loyalty scheme to encourage students and staff to eat less meat and more veg, and offering incentives for staff to bring their own ‘mug for life’ to reduce the use of plastic and paper cups.

The team is also trialling sugar cane platters and plates, which should hopefully be rolled out by April. Keep an eye out for more non-plastic alternatives at events and in the University cafes.