Keele launches sustainability drive to combat single-use packaging

Food and drink bought on campus can now be provided even more sustainably thanks to the introduction of a campaign to reduce waste takeaway food packaging.

Following the success of the Drink, Rinse, Repeat campaign to promote reusable coffee cups on campus and reduce single-use plastics, a new campaign to encourage the use of reusable food containers called Eat, Rinse, Repeat has now been launched at Keele’s eateries and shops.

The scheme is part of a pilot supported by Friends of the Earth, and students from Amnesty International Society are helping with promotional activities.

The initiative works in the same way as the reusable coffee cups, and as of this week (beginning Monday January 27) students and staff can present their container at outlets such as On the Square, the Refectory, Street Food and the Students’ Union outlets to receive food in their own containers. The scheme is not currently available at the Mezze bar in Chancellor’s or nights out at the Students’ Union.

Any form of clean reusable container can be used to take advantage of the scheme as long as they are large enough for the portion of food dispensed. Branded containers will be available at food outlets on campus for £6.50 for clamshell-style boxes and £5.50 for round containers suitable for soup, porridge and pasta pots. Competitions will be running through the launch of the scheme for your chance to win an Eat, Rinse, Repeat box.

As with the coffee cup scheme, a 25p levy will be charged for those purchasing food in a single-use container, with the money being reinvested in sustainability initiatives on campus.

The scheme encourages people to use their own reusable containers in a bid to reduce reliance on single-use boxes. Although many boxes used across Keele are made from VegWare which is plant-based, reducing our use of disposable packaging reduces demand on resources and energy needed to create them.

Sustainability Project Officer Sarah Briggs said: “It’s fantastic to be launching the new Eat, Rinse, Repeat campaign across Keele. Projects like this are only possible because of the partnership we have between the University and Students’ Union around embedding sustainability in all we do.

“The Catering and Retail Team, Students’ Union, student societies, and Sustainability Team have come together to make this new project happen. It’s exciting to see how campaigns to reduce single-use packaging on campus can not only be beneficial in their own way, but also help raise funds to continue driving sustainability initiatives across campus.”


Picture caption: (L-R) Huw Evans, Environmental Manager; Alana Wheat, Sustainability Intern; Sarah Briggs, Sustainability Project Officer; and Lucy Talbot, Sustainability Food Intern at the launch of the campaign.