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Cafés run by the University have switched to entirely compostable packaging and cutlery! Cambridge University's catering outlets recently switched all of their disposables to completely compostable packaging made by 'Vegware'. All Vegware products are made of recycled or renewable materials and can be recycled in the food waste bins also recently introduced in the University-run cafes. This means that food waste, along with all the cups, cutlery and takeaway boxes, can all be put in the same bin to be taken to a local composting facility where it is turned into nutrient rich fertiliser.

The change will reduce the amount of plastic and paper being sent to landfill, but needs those using the cafes to be aware of the change. In October, representatives from Vegware came in to launch the new packaging and engage with students at four different sites. They brought with them their 'recycling challenge', which saw students compete to see who could get everything in the right bin in the quickest time. The aim of the day was to raise awareness of the new compostable packaging and which bin it should go into, and generally engage the students on issues around recycling. 

Vegware’s Group Recycling Consultant Eilidh Brunton was pleased with how the day went. “The packaging launch at Cambridge was a great success. The students were all genuinely interested to hear about the changes and were impressed that the catering team were taking steps to reduce waste and improve sustainability. Educating the students about Vegware will help reduce contamination rates and boost recycling. As ever, there were many
shocked faces when we explained what looks like a plastic cup is actually made from plants!”

Be sure to check the new posters in each café letting you know how the new system works, and for more on recycling and waste at the University, visit the Environment & Energy section's website. During the month of November, a number of further events and awareness raising initiatives are taking place across the University as part of the first ever 'Spotlight On Waste' month. Visit the University's Spotlight on Waste page to find out more.