Social Responsibility and Sustainability

#ZeroWaste UoE: a new campaign to reduce waste at the University

#ZeroWasteUoE is a new University-wide campaign to encourage staff and students to waste less, reuse more and recycle effectively.

The University has made some big commitments to become more resource efficient, and students and staff are central to making it happen. #ZeroWasteUoE aims to show students and staff how to waste less, reuse more and recycle effectively.

What is resource efficiency?

Using the Earth’s limited resources in a sustainable manner while minimising impacts on the environment. It allows us to create more with less and to deliver greater value with less input.

European Commission, 2017
zero waste uoe

What is the University doing?

The University has recently made many commitments to help it become more resource efficient:

  • A vision to become a Zero Waste University by 2030
  • Embedding a Circular Economy approach to resources
  • Putting waste prevention, reuse and recycling at the forefront of our relationship with resources
  • Striving to be disposable plastic-free by 2030 (non-essential single-use plastics)

These are outlined in the University's Waste Strategy and Implementation Plan for 2018/19 - 2022/23.

What can you do?

We'd like all students and staff to learn how to waste less, reuse more and recycle effectively, and encourage others to do the same. The #ZeroWasteUoE campaign aims to give you all the information - and inspiration - you need to do so.

6 tips

Here are our top tips for helping the University become zero waste.

1. Learn how to recycle effectively

Swot up on what can and can't be recycled at the University by learning more about University recycling bins and the City of Edinburgh Council's recycling bins.

2. Reuse where possible

By choosing to reuse items, you can significantly reduce the waste you produce at the University. 

As individuals:
In your office:
  • Use glassware over bottled water
  • Use tea towels over paper towels
  • Minimise packaging and reuse where possible
  • Need more equipment? Check out Warp It
Resource efficiency image

3. Design out waste

Reusables are a great way of preventing personal waste, but what about waste from other University activities?

4. Be a zero waste champion... and encourage others to be one too

Everyone can help us achieve #ZeroWasteUoE. Why not set your office a challenge to go single use plastic free for a week, or see who can produce the least waste in your shared accommodation? 

If you need inspiration, check out Environmental Protection and Management MSc student Laura Young's Ted Talk on 'Kicking the plastic habit'.

Share the campaign on social media

We want you to share your experiences of being zero waste on campus, or to point out where improvements could be made. Tag us in your pictures using the hashtag #ZeroWasteUoE.

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More information

Find out more about a circular economy at the University 

Students: reduce, reuse, recycle

Staff: reduce, reuse, recycle