Lincoln is set to become the first university in the country to fully eliminate single-use coffee cups from campus as it continues its push towards greater environmental sustainability.
The university’s catering department has teamed up with reusable cup share company, Again Again, to offer a solution to single use waste, which leads to 295 million disposable cups going to landfill every year in New Zealand.
Food, Beverage and Conferencing Manager, John Van Wijk, said the company is providing the university with reusable steel cups, silicone lids and cardboard heat sleeves, which are available by deposit and return.“When customers order their coffee for the first time under the new system, they will pay $3 for a reusable cup,” he said.
“From this point onwards, whenever they order coffee from one of our campus cafés or any café in New Zealand that participates in the scheme, they are able to exchange the reusable cup for a new one at no charge.
“They can opt out of the scheme at any time and receive a $3 refund by returning their cup to any participating outlet.
“If any of our campus customers would prefer not to take part in the scheme, we can still serve coffee in their own mug if they bring that along.”
The reusable cups will be available at all campus food and beverage outlets from Tuesday, 4 February, as an introduction to the system, with single use cups remaining accessible until Tuesday, 18 February.
“We have a strong sustainability ethic at Lincoln and are committed to reducing waste as part of that,” Mr Van Wijk said. “We are proud to be the first New Zealand university to eliminate single use coffee cups.
“More than 170 outlets in New Zealand, including Coffee Culture cafes and airports are already subscribed to the system.”
The Again Again scheme is the latest in a series of measures that Lincoln University has initiated due to its commitment to environmental sustainability.
As well as focusing on reducing waste, Lincoln is also working to increase its sustainability measures for transport, water and green infrastructure through a dedicated taskforce.
Last year, the largest solar array at any New Zealand university was installed on the rooftop of Lincoln’s Te Kete Ika Dining Hall building and further projects of this nature are continuing in 2020.
Lincoln’s commitment to sustainability has also received global recognition, with an improved placing in the 2019 UI GreenMetric World University Rankings.
* Again Again café locations around the country can be found at https://www.againagain.co/map
* See coverage of this story at Communicaffe.com