Making the transition to re-usable cups at UC

As you probably know by now, single-use coffee cups cannot be recycled anymore, only the lids. Last month, as part of our campaign to reduce the use of single-use takeaway cups and to bring attention to correct recycling practices, the Sustainability Office ran a stall in the Undercroft. We offered reusable cups for just $5 and sold more than 70 over the three days we ran the stall. This surpassed our expectations! Many people seem to be keen on making a difference by reducing the amount of waste they create.

If you missed out on purchasing a reusable cup, you can still buy them from the Sustainability Office for just $5. Contact Katie.nimmo@canterbury.ac.nz for more details, and for information on UCs recycling practices, have a look here.

We also conducted a small scale audit of a landfill and recycling bin station, and found that in the main the campus community is doing a great job of placing single-use takeaway cups in the landfill bin. However, the majority of these cups still had plastic lids on them and these lids can still be recycled. Approximately a quarter of a million single-use takeaway cups are sold on campus every year – that’s a lot of recyclable plastic that can be diverted from the landfill. So if you do purchase single-use takeaway cups, take a moment to separate the lid from the cup, and put the lid in the recycling bin and the cup in the landfill bin.

Did you know ….

  • The length of 250 000 single use cups placed end on end is 30 km, which is the equivalent of walking around Hagley Park six times!
  • Campus cafes offer a discount every time you bring in your reusable cup? You can earn your cup back in no time
  • Reusable cups can be washed and dried in the heat-and-eat areas around campus, look for the (HE) sign on the map below. As more buildings open, more heat-and-eat areas will open on campus, making it even easier for you to keep your cup clean!

Heat and Eat areas at UC

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