- At UTS we’re working to eliminate the most common single-use plastic items from our campus, including plastic straws, bags, food containers, cutlery, bottles, and plastic lined coffee cups.
- Single-use plastic items are being replaced by reusable, recyclable and compostable alternatives.
In consultation with students and staff, we developed the UTS Plastic Free by 2020 Plan to provide a road-map for phasing out single-use plastics. It’s a bold plan, that aims to change practices and behaviours. To succeed, everyone has a role to play; to change the culture at UTS and beyond.
Plastic waste is a big problem. When plastics enter the environment, they pollute waterways and are a risk to wildlife. Millions of birds and animals die each year by ingesting plastic. Even more worrying, plastics break down into tiny micro particles and enter the food chain.
The main problem has been the explosion of ‘disposable’ single-use plastics, especially plastic packaging. Many of these items can’t be recycled.
But there are solutions. Some single-use plastics can be replaced by reusable alternatives. In other circumstances, it can be easy to switch to compostable or recyclable options.
The Sustainability team are working with on-campus food and coffee outlets to find alternatives to plastic, to provide incentives for BYO coffee cups, and to explain the benefits of reusable drink bottles, cutlery and food containers to customers. The university is also investing in facilities to help the transition, things like more water fountains and washing-up facilities to make it easier to choose reusable.
What you can do:
- Carry a reusable cup, drink bottle, cutlery set and food container
- Choose to refuse straws and plastic bags
- Support retailers using reusable and compostable packaging
- Shop wisely, minimise single-use items.