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When Matt visited Universal Studios in September 2016, his attention was drawn away from the rides, to the self-service Freestyle Machines dispensing a vast array of soft drinks into various re-usable containers. He quickly realised there was an opportunity to apply the same technology back at home to enable the University of Reading to reduce plastic bottle use as well as being financially sustainable.
Almost exactly a year later, the Reading scheme launched as the very first in Europe following the collaboration of five different organisations to create a scheme suitable for the UK.
The scheme has so far has avoided 132,705 plastic bottles (1st September 2017 to 31st April 2018) with a reusable bottle rate of 43%.
Top 3 learnings:
1. Working with commercial partners has allowed us to address pressing environmental issues.
2. Our students are willing to ditch single use plastics given a true alternative.
3. Using our Sustainability brand, we have embedded the project into Campus Life.
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for sustainability in post-16 education
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