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Cardiff University’s new commitment to phasing out single-use plastic

By Georgia Harland

Cardiff University has a brand new commitment to phasing out single-use plastic and has already made significant process around campus.

A Cardiff University spokesperson told Gair Rhydd: “The phasing out of single-use plastics across the University is one of a number of measures that we’ve put in place to help build an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for our community and to bring about environmental benefits not only to Cardiff and Wales but to the wider world”.

To start this process, they have used blue signage on all the campus drinking fountains, so students can easily find and access water from the refill stations.

Moreover, they have added all 55 drinking fountains on to a new national app called ‘Refill’. The app has uploaded the locations of over 14,000 refill stations worldwide.

It is easy to use, you just download the app, enter your location and find a local refill station.

The app intends to ‘save money and prevent plastic pollution’ by people using the app to find water on the go.

Alongside the app, shop windows have also started putting a ‘Refill droplet’ sticker that says: “Free tap water”. These locations will also show on the app, as well as just being able to look for shop windows with the new blue sticker.

Refill the app also receives 13p every time someone uses ‘Refill’, which goes towards helping fund our planet protecting campaigns.

To download the free app, you can find it on the app store or google play. The university has also opened up an email for student to provide feedback for the app on: studentappfeedback@cardiff.ac.uk

As well as uploading the campus drinking fountains onto the app, the University also introduced non-disposable hot drink cups.

“We would encourage all of our students to use their non-disposable drinks bottles and cups on campus and to fill up their water in our designated drinking fountains”, said a Cardiff University spokesperson.

These cups can be accessed in any café and restaurant across campus. Students and staff who use the cups will receive a 25p discount on any hot drink when using the non-disposable cups.

Since last semester, the University recorded 8,000 instances of staff and students using the non-disposable cups across campus.

The University has also managed to reduce the number of water bottles purchased for catering and hospitality purposes by over 25% since the last academic year. This is a decline of 22,320 compared to the previous year.

A Cardiff University spokesperson concluded: “We’re extremely pleased with the progress that we’ve made so far and it’s encouraging to see so many of our staff and students embracing these sustainable initiatives”

“However, we are not complacent and will continue to look at ways in which we can reduce our campus footprint, such as phasing out condiment sachets from our catering facilities and engaging with other local businesses to reduce their single-use plastics”.

“We are also currently reviewing how single-use plastics are used across our open days”.

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