Reusable coffee cups are helping students at The University of Western Australia to put less rubbish in the bin - and send less waste to landfill.
And their efforts were commended last week when UWA's Student Guild won a Highly Commended Award in the Community category of the Waste Authority's Infinity Awards.
KeepCups were released on campus as part of a campaign to reduce the environmental impact of the 270,000 takeaway coffees sold at the University every year.
Guild Environmental Officer Daniel Stone said the number of coffees served in disposable cups had dropped by three per cent within just four months of the KeepCup campaign.
"Based on this take-up rate, we're aiming for a 10 per cent reduction by the end of the year," he said.
"This means 27,000 less cups in landfill annually - equivalent to four trees' worth of paper, 80kgs of plastic lids and 28 gigajoules of energy, which is enough to make 28,000 pots of coffee," he said.
Mr Stone said the campaign focussed heavily on encouraging continued and regular use of the cups, which was "paramount in reducing waste on campus".
"Many organisations heavily corporatise their cups then give them away for free, but we recognised that students must value their cup highly if they are to carry it around every day and remember to use it," he said.
For this reason, the cups are sold for $10 each, a fee that can be recouped through discounts for refills at campus cafes. To further increase their appeal, Mr Stone said the KeepCup brand was chosen for its wide spectrum of colours.
"Students can choose their cup's colour scheme to suit their individual personality. They are so eye-catching that everyone notices them being used. This creates a culture of re-use on campus," Mr Stone said.
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