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University imposes ban on disposable cups in Halls of Residence

By Adam Farnell

Catering areas in Halls of Residence will no longer serve disposable cups, after a ban from the University of Manchester.

Ten FoodinResidence outlets will be affected by the change. A University of Manchester spokesperson described the ban as “just the start if a plan to discourage their use altogether” at the University.

1.3 million cups and lids are thrown away each year, costing the university £105,000. Staff and students are being encouraged to use re-usable Hug Mugs in a bid to reduce waste.

“600 trees are cut down every year in order to supply enough raw materials to produce the amount of disposable cups being used at the University of Manchester,” said Alex Clark, environmental officer for the university’s directorate Sport, Trading and Residential Services (STARS).

He continued: “A Hug Mug is a re-usable cup that students bring to their Food in Residence eatery but can also take out to other outlets around campus. We are also now selling the re-usable mugs from all our FoodOnCampus cafes and eateries with various savings on drinks and soups for all students, staff and visitors using them.

“Not only will this help the environment but it saves money too. So there’s double the incentive for individuals and businesses. I want us to set an example to the rest of Manchester and encourage more cafes and eateries to ditch disposable cups altogether,” added Clark.

The University has set a target to reduce its carbon footprint by at least 40 per cent by 2020, from a 2007/8 baseline. This target is incorporated in the University of Manchester’s Carbon Management Plan.

The University has been criticised for their environmental record by environmental groups. People and Planet ranked the university 65th out of 133 universities in its Green League Table. The table ranks universities on environmental factors including carbon emissions and water consumptions.

However, the University is part of the Degrees Cooler programme, a collaborative project with the NUS, environmental groups and universities to improve environmental performance.

Tags: Adam Farnell, disposable cups, halls of residence, University of Manchester

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