Plastic pollution is an environmental emergency. The impact that plastic production and disposal has on wildlife, ecosystems and the climate is disastrous. We’ve all heard the terrifying reports that the ocean will contain more plastic than fish by 2050, and seen the upsetting images of birds, turtles and fish entangled in our everyday plastic items. We appreciate that few people would be able to sustain a plastic-free lifestyle. This is why our campaign’s focus is on lobbying the Student’s Union and University to reduce their excessive plastic-use. Unnecessary plastic can be found all over campus whether it’s plastic cups at student bars, disposable coffee cups, takeaway containers, food packaging or bottled water for sale. These plastics are frequently unable to be recycled and end up going to landfill, contributing to climate change and polluting our oceans.
We believe that as an environmentally aware student population, we deserve a Student’s Union and University with a similar focus. In the current climate, proper waste management and reducing plastic-use is fundamental to improving overall sustainability and environmental practices.
We call on the Student’s Union to introduce a ‘plastic-free’ policy initiative that would see single-use plastics eliminated and replaced with eco-friendly alternatives. This includes replacing plastic cups with a sustainable alternative, banning the sale of plastic bottled water and ensuring there are enough water fountains, creating a measurable plan to phase out disposable coffee cups, introducing a zero-waste section in the SU shop, working with Pearl Bubble Tea to reduce plastic wastage, and establishing a committee made up of both SU officers and students to work with SU outlets and review the success of these policy objectives.
We want every University school to commit to carrying out an annual plastic-use audit to identify key areas in need of improvement. With this information, each school should work with Sussex Estates and Facilities to create a measurable plan to reduce plastic use and introduce sustainable alternatives.
We petition the University and Sussex Estates and Facilities (SEF) to establish a ‘plastic-free’ committee made up of both students and SEF employees. This committee can work with University schools and outlets to supply necessary support and advice on how to reduce plastic use.
The environment is the defining issue of our generation and it’s important that we make our voices heard! Like our Facebook page and send us a message/email if you want to be involved in this campaign to make Sussex plastic-free!