Two schemes too reduce plastic usage, launched at the University of Sheffield

Sheffield Students Union is leading the way in plastic reduction with two new projects launched this week: Our Zero Waste Shop and the Reusable Cup Scheme. SU Development Officer, Megan McGrath turned her passion for sustainability into a reality after test trials for the Zero Waste Shop proved successful.


“At the beginning of October, my campaign launched. We had a mini shop, what is now Our Zero Waste Shop. So, you could refill your household goods, we sell bamboo toothbrushes, kind of a range of those kind of items.


“When I started my campaign I didn’t feel like many people cared about it and not many people realised it was an issue. Thanks to David Attenborough everyone and anyone is talking about. So, I think we realised there was a bit of a gap in the market. Sheffield Students Union has always been very sustainable minded and always very keen to protect our environment. So, we wanted to try something new and be the first Zero Waste Shop in Sheffield, which I’m extremely proud of,” says Megan McGrath.


“I was really, really happy to see one open in the union here,” says Martha Hanson, a university of Sheffield student, “It’s just right in the middle of the union and everyone can see it. Everything is clearly marked and explained and so on. I think it’s a really great way to raise awareness about it.”


In addition to the shop, the SU has also seen some success with the reusable cup scheme, which has been temporarily paused to meet the demand. All 18 of the University outlets are involved with the scheme. How it works, is you put down a £5 deposit for a university band branded with the campus logo on it. You can then buy a hot drink at any of the University’s 18 outlets and they will give you a bamboo drinking cup which you can take with you and drop off any participating university shop.


To learn more about the cups, watch the video below:


“I knew as a student, that there are a lot of things that I wasn’t happy with in my student experience. You know, I always felt like we created a lot of waste. I saw loads of opportunities that I felt like I could improve the student experience and make our SU sustainable,” Megan McGrath about her decision to launch these campaigns.


Participating outlets: