As communicated in this earlier article, free single-use plastics will no longer be used on campus from September 1 onwards. On that date, new legislation goes into effect that aims to reduce plastic waste by making 'Bring your Own’ and reusable packaging the norm. The legislation prohibits the distribution of free plastic disposables, such as single-use coffee cups, containers and food packaging. All information about the new laws can be found on a special website from the Dutch government (in Dutch). The most important changes brought on by the new legislation on campus are detailed below.
From September 1st onwards, all disposable cups will be removed from the coffee machines on campus, because they contain plastic. At UT, we currently use almost 1 million disposable cups a year, so this change is expected to prevent a great amount of waste. Starting September 1st, you should bring your own reusable (travel) mug. Don't have a suitable mug yet? You can get travel mugs at a 50% discount at the Union Shop during the month of September. Alternatively, you can get a Billie Cup at the canteens and coffee corners for a €1,- deposit. You can exchange them there later for a clean Billie Cup or for a coin that you can use to get a new cup later. If you’re a staff member, you can also use the cups that are available in all pantries.
At the Appél canteens and coffee corners on campus, single-use plastics will be abolished as well. Coffee, tea and other drinks will be served in Billie cups with a €1,- deposit, or you can bring your own mug. For soup, a reusable soup bowl will become available for eating in, or you can pay a fee for a single-use cup. Warm meals to eat-in at the Waaier and Horst buildings are already served with reusable plates. For takeaway, you will have to bring your own container or pay a fee for a single-use container. For food safety reasons, wrapping e.g. sandwiches in plastic foil is still allowed by the new legislation. Other changes will be communicated in the canteens themselves.
At events organized by UT and other events on campus, no more single use plastics will be used. This was already largely the case at all corporate events. The only exception are RPET cups for drinks at some large events, which are collected and recycled into new cups and therefore still allowed.
The new rules will have impact on how we are used to doing things on campus, but we are dedicated to implementing them well, in line with the sustainability goals of UT. Do you have questions about what the changes will mean for you? Please contact Anouk van der Wal for questions about the coffee machines or canteens. For questions about events, please contact Jelmer van Straelen. For other questions, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.