Following feedback from staff and students, the university will be removing single use disposable cups from its refectories and coffee counters this summer.
From Monday 9 July people will be able to use reusable cups or crockery if they are buying a hot drink from one of the refectories run by BaxterStorey.
In the last academic year, over 154,000 hot drinks were served at the university, the vast majority of which were served in disposable cups. A survey of staff and students in May and June 2018 showed the university community felt strongly that positive action should be taken to reduce the amount of waste produced.
The pilot, which will last for one month will give staff, students and visitors a number of options: bring your own reusable cup and receive a discount on your drink, purchase a reusable cup from the outlet or use a china mug and sit-in with your coffee. The initiative is being run as a partnership between the university's catering supplier Baxter Storey and the university's sustainability team with support from the Students Union.
A spokesperson for BaxterStorey said:
“We know that students and staff feel strongly about reducing waste and using a sustainable alternative and we hope this is step in the right direction towards that. This is a trial period, but we hope to introduce the initiative permanently for the start of the new academic year."
Dr Alex Ryan, Director of Sustainability at the University of Gloucestershire, said:
“We are so pleased to see this pilot which sets the University on track to be one of the first in the country to eliminate disposable cups entirely. Close collaboration with our caterers, BaxterStorey, has helped to secure our place as second in the UK universities' sustainability league. This initiative is another example of how our catering partnership helps us to drive sustainability in ways that reduce our negative footprint whilst supporting our wellbeing goals and bringing down costs across the estate."
Dr Nigel Wichall, Director of Estates at the University of Gloucestershire, said:
“The Estates team is pleased to support this pilot to work towards eliminating disposable cups across our campuses. We're working closely with our catering contractors to remove single use cups to enhance the sustainability of the University estate, reduce the amount of waste we produce, and to further improve our recycling rate."
The cupless trial will be reviewed towards the end of the summer and it's hoped that it will become permanent at the start of the new academic year in September.