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How to make a cup of (sustainabili) tea!
Our journey using food and drink provision to showcase sustainability across the University is ongoing, but in 2019 we launched our flagship initiative - “YORCUP” - a reusable cup “loan” scheme to reduce disposable cup usage across campus cafes. Teamed with the “Latte Levy” (a surcharge on disposable cup use) to raise money for sustainability projects, in under a year disposable cup usage dropped by ~24% (~90,000 disposables) and reusables increased 82%. The Levy has raised over £34,000 for on-campus and community sustainability projects.
The scheme’s success has been facilitated by other initiatives implemented over the last 10 years to reduce food and drink resource consumption and waste, and to educate consumers on sustainability changes they can make. Behind the scenes, we have changed food/drink sourcing and removed single-use plastic containers, cutlery, and disposable cups. At the same time, we have launched initiatives such as meat-free menus, a new vegan/vegetarian cafe, and events showcasing sustainable food choices and low-carbon meals.
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