University in ongoing fight to reduce plastic waste

CAMPAIGNERS says that there is still more to be done in the ongoing fights against single used plastics, as a catering firm at Solent University ramps up its efforts to reduce waste.

The university has been praised by environmental campaigners from Final Straw Solent for its recycling efforts.

East Park Deli café at Solent University sells Starbucks’ reusable cups

But campaigners believe that Sodexo can still introduce other measures. The university is working to reduce the amount of non-recyclable plastic it uses . The less plastic that is used, the more it benefits the environment.

The co-founder of Final Straw Solent, Bianca Carr said: “Tackling single-use plastic is so important.

“We’re in the middle of this enormous environmental crisis and without the support of universities we would really struggle.

“It’s important that we encourage universities to do as much as they can; by the sound of things, Solent is doing a great job at the cafe, but there’s always more that can be done.

“It’s the tiny changes that can be made, from having recyclable cups at all the water stations to maybe even banning plastic bottles on lectures – there is a lot that can make a difference.”

The canned water on display at The Artisan
The canned water on display at The Artisan

Before getting rid of plastic straws, Solent University was throwing away 16,500 single use plastic straws per year.

Sodexo responded by making positive steps towards more environmentally conscious campus catering after the company realised how negative it’s impact on the environment had become.

Solent’s Sodexo director Nick Hayter, released a document revealing the university’s impact.

Sodexo’s document revealed their efforts to provide a quality service, mentioning an effort to reduce plastic waste, their impeccable food standards and the introduction of canned water, biodegradable cutlery and free water refill points.

East Park Deli café at Solent university is using cutlery that is made from plant starch material which is made from a mix of 70% plant material such as corn, potatoes and other vegetables. The other 30% is made out of fillers for strength and heat tolerance.

Sodexo was the first company to start selling ‘CanO water’, which is just canned water. They made up 18.4% of total water sales at East Park Deli and this has been launched in The Artisan in the SJM building.

The Artisan cafe has also converted to paper straws and has introduced a free water refill point. It’s accessible to all and is located just inside the doors with the Sir James Matthews building.

Sodexo have introduced a 10p discount whenever you bring your own cup.

Solent University was approached for comment.

by Noor Merza (@n_ajeely) Scott Boeser (@Scotteboeser) and Louis Suffill (@Louisuffiull)