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Durham University


Single Use Plastic

As you may be aware we have signed County Durham's pledge to:

  • Significantly reduce and work towards ultimately removing the use of unnecessary single-use plastics from our operations; and
  • Encourage and support others to do the same.

The establishment of the Single Use Plastic (SUP) Working Party is helping eliminate all single use plastics across the whole estate. The Group have been working hard to phase out unnecessary plastic from Durham University!

We have already made a difference:

  • Van Mildert College using reusable boxes for students' lunches, which has saved money and reduced the amount of waste going to landfill.
  • Replacing disposable cups with mugs, glasses and reusable cups at Mountjoy Offices.
  • Asking our suppliers to eliminate unnecessary plastics i.e. by removing the plastic wrapping on clothes has also saved 30p per hoodie

The SUP Working Party were involved in the following, ready for the start Michaelmas Term 2019:

  • All vending machines to have SUP drinks replaced with cans;
  • College bars to have dishwashers installed so they can use reusable glasses instead of SUP flex glasses;
  • Bill Bryson Library’s Small Island Coffee SUP drinks to be replaced with cans. A key focus will be on the water refill campaign using reusable drinking bottles and hydration for students;
  • Durham Business School’s Fusion Café is now plastic free and their launch took place on 18 September 2019; and
  • The New Teaching Learning Centre’s Zing Café is plastic free.

Van Mildert College have removed single use plastics from their packed lunches.

Keep Cups

Did you know… if you purchase a Durham University reusable Keep Cup you will get a free hot drink? And if you take your own mug to any Durham University Catering outlet you will get 20p off the price of a hot drink?

Durham University reusable Keep Cups, the more sustainable way to enjoy your hot drinks. They're now available to purchase from Mountjoy cafes (Palatine, Chemistry, Library and Mountjoy Centre) and Maiden Castle Cafe. The cups come in two sizes, medium (£6) and large (£7), with 4 colours to choose from! Purchase one now and receive a free hot drink, plus 20p off all future hot drinks each time you use your reusable cup in any Durham University cafe!

  • Durham 'keep cups' price ranges
  • Durham 'keep cups' disposable comparision

The Refill Campaign

Durham University has become the first university in the North of England to join an initiative aimed at reducing plastic waste. The Refill campaign was launched by Northumbrian Water and aims to reduce the number of single-use plastic bottles. It works by encouraging businesses to allow members of the public to fill up their water bottles free of charge.

Durham University’s Chief Operating Officer, Jane Robinson, said: “We all have a part to play in protecting and enhancing our natural environment for future generations. “Signing up to the Refill campaign helps transform our commitment to improving environmental sustainability from words into meaningful actions. We hope others will do the same and support this fantastic initiative.” (2018).