Our Reusable Cup Race is a finalist in the 2018 Green Gown Awards


During the race we saved approximately 1562 single use cups, and that’s continued, as at the end of May we’d saved approximately 4342 cups.

That's a great achievement as single use coffee cups are hard to recycle as they are made up of paper tightly bonded with plastic and usually contaminated with drink residue. This means that despite technically being recyclable, over 99 per cent of them are not recycled.

The success of the project, led by two of our graduate interns Lenka Krikavova and Edoardo Federici, has earned it a place as a finalist in the Campus Health, Food and Drink category of the 2018 Green Gown awards. The awards recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK.

Lenka and Edoardo came up with a simple and creative plan working with our caterers to encourage the use of keep cups and china mugs across the university canteens and coffee shops.  As the percentage of reusable cups grew, so did the discount on each purchase, up to a maximum of 50p per cup while the race was underway.

We're one of 87 finalists in 12 categories, and up against five other finalists in our category, but we have to wait until November to find out the result.  Learning that their project had been named as a finalist Edoardo said:

I am very happy about the way the Reusable Cup Race turned out. We put a lot effort and energy into the project, uncertain of how successful it would be. It has been very rewarding to see the positive difference we could make and the nomination for the Green Gown 2018 finalists is a welcome validation of the project's impact.

Lenka added:

I consider the internship at the Sustainability Development Unit to be one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences from my time at Greenwich. It was an amazing opportunity to grow both professionally and personally, and I gained the confidence to start applying for degree level jobs.

Congratulations to everyone involved in making this project a success and good luck in the finals.