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Sustainability Initiatives

USW Sustainable Food Safety Policy

The provision of food and beverage has a complex relationship with health and the environment and the Catering services at the University of South Wales has a significant opportunity to create long term benefits for their students and staff.

The Catering department also recognises the need to encourage and provide a way to a positive lifestyle change for both students and staff. This will lead to a positive impact on health and well-being as well as on the environment. 

Click here to read the University of South Wales  Sustainable Food Safety Policy.

Sustainable Food


Huskee with Coffee

Catering Services is set to replace all its disposable coffee cups with a deposit-return scheme from May 2021, in a bid to reduce the amount of single use cups we throw away each year. On average USW uses approximately 159,017 disposable cups each year, this equates to 72 tonnes of C02 emitted to the atmosphere or 718 Kg of waste.

The USW Cup scheme working in tandem with our BYO* cup scheme allows users to pay a £3.49 deposit on a cup that can later be returned and refunded or replaced with a new cup when you order a hot drink. The USW Cup scheme was funded by the Welsh Government Circular Economy Fund in a bid to remove all unnecessary plastic waste.

External Partnerships

Through our partnerships with third party operators such as Too Good to Go and Peas Please we are able to maximise our opportunities to mitigate waste and promote a healthier, sustainable lifestyle for all. 

Peas Please Logo

External partnerships

New Recycling Stations

Stilts BRS with tray

As part of our efforts to improve sustainability and lessen our environmental impact, we have worked in collaboration with other teams across the University to introduce new recycling stations to some of the University's busiest areas, aiming to make recycling easier than ever.

Enthusiasm for recycling is high among staff and students, but we found that waste was often being deposited in the wrong places. These new recycling stations take the guess work out of deciding where to deposit refuse, with separate sections for different types of waste and clear, eye-catching, labelling in both Welsh and English.

They are also at an accessible height for wheelchair users, and have signage on the front that enables people of all heights to easily distinguish where refuse should go.

These new recycling stations have initially been rolled out across our Catering outlets on all campuses.

Catering Sustainability Initiatives 2019

Introduction of reusable products and levies for disposable ones.

There will be a number of changes in our catering outlets from next week (Monday 2 September) as part of Estates and Facilities work to improve the University’s sustainability.
From Monday there will be:

  • The introduction of a 25p levy on disposable products where a suitable reusable alternative is in place, such as reusable hot beverage cups and food containers. This levy has been put in place to reduce the amount of single use plastic and disposable cups going to landfill.
  • The launch of a wide range of reusable products, including Sho water bottles, Eco coffee cups, Starbucks cups, soup/porridge food containers, salad pots and hot food boxes. These will be available to buy from the cafes and restaurants across each campus.
  • Biodegradable takeaway food boxes will replace polystyrene ones.
  • Paper straws and wooden cutlery will be introduced to replace the plastic ones previously used.
  • There will be a trial of compostable disposable cups in Starbucks.
  • The University is switching its sandwich supplier to a company based in Bristol. Previously we used a company in Bradford. This will save 47,300 food miles each year and 66 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
These changes are on top of initiatives that have already been launched this year to improve sustainability.

A wash station is now available in Stilts for anyone who wants to clean their reusable food containers, and new lighting was installed in June that will save 27 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

Stilts Poster.jpg

Fill up your water bottle for free

Cups & Bottles

Refill Stations

This follows the drive for greater water accessibility, led by the Students’ Union, via their Free Water for Everyone policy.

The policy seeks to provide more accessible drinking water points for both staff and students, with an initial focus on the areas of the University’s Estate that currently don’t have them.

It also contributes to the wider Welsh Government Refill Wales initiative, which aspires to make Wales the first Refill Nation, making it easier for people to refill their water bottles without needing to purchase single-use plastic bottles.

Click here for Refill locations.