Single Out #2023PlasticFree

The University of Leeds and Leeds University Union have together pledged to become single-use plastic-free by 2023.

The campaign, Single Out: 2023PlasticFree commits the University and Union to phase out single-use plastic across the board, not just in catering and office spaces.

The five-year campaign will involve mapping plastic use across the University and Union, and then identifying action plans for more challenging areas. It will also include working with partners and supply chains to phase out the amount of plastic products and packaging coming onto campus. Explore more about our pledge on the tabs below.

Support the #2023plasticfree pledge on Twitter @UoL_Sus, Instagram @uol_sus or email ideas to plasticfree@leeds.ac.uk

 

“We are proud to be at the forefront of efforts to reduce plastic waste and our pledge sends a very clear message about our ambition to be single-use plastic free within the next five years. This new drive will also have a series of targets to reduce the use of all kinds of plastic, improve recycling capabilities and build on our ground-breaking research to tackle this important global challenge.” Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor

“This is a huge commitment and a big challenge for us, but we are determined to play our part by acting together to reduce our plastic footprint. We’ve already made so much progress, with strong recycling rates and catering initiatives such as our reusable cups becoming an integral part of our operations. We hope this pledge inspires all staff and students to take up the challenge of collectively reducing our use of throwaway plastics, across campus and beyond.” Dr Louise Ellis, Director of Sustainability at the University

“As a Union, we are delighted to announce this joint pledge to be single-use plastic-free by 2023. Students have often been ahead of the national agenda, with freshers’ week plastic bag free and ensuring we have biodegradable alternatives in the Union – this pledge is another step where the University community can lead the way. We are looking forward to working in partnership with the University to make sure we all have a positive impact on this future-defining issue for the planet.” Chris Morris, Union Affairs Officer at Leeds University Union

“The shift in public opinion about the use of plastics has been phenomenal, but organisations of all shapes and sizes need to champion change. I think this commitment will inspire lots of people to think about how the University – as an institution that leads the way on sustainability – can make a difference. As a leading research university, we also have an important role in developing expertise. From working on alternatives to plastics and helping improve waste management, we’ll be supporting the difficult challenges ahead to ensure plastics don’t end up in the natural environment.” Professor Dame Jane Francis, University Chancellor and Director of the British Antarctic Survey 

My End of Year Retrospective of Hyde Park

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Sue Buckle, long term resident of Hyde Park shares her thoughts about the end of term, students departure and how students are viewed by permanent residents.

It’s that time of year again- gardens are lovely with spring blossom and on pavements, black bags overflowing with clothes charity shops would be glad of. The universities terms are nearly over and soon our student neighbours will be on the move.

It’s sad to say goodbye to the students who’ve become friends, even though we’ve never had the promised coffee or drink together due to busy lives.  My immediate neighbours have been great, considerate and friendly, and I wish they were staying another year. The ones on the street who’ve woken people up after midnight with loud, shrieking discussions about who’s going in which taxi or who’ve resolutely refused/forgotten to put their bins back in gardens- we can live without!

So far, Bank Holiday Monday, it’s been pretty quiet with only a few occasional loud boozey voices late at nights. We empathise with the euphoria of ending exams, but if only the lucky ones would remember the poor souls still revising for their exams. Local school children are still revising for their GCSE and A-level exams. Friends from a neighbouring street report “bearable noise” so far, but are bracing themselves for the next few weeks. Even the benefits of Hyde Park Christmas- the piles of discarded clothes, furniture, household items and food- don’t make up for the misery of sleep deprivation. Especially when you have an early start the next day or been told “This is a student area. Why don’t you move?”

Going back to bins- yesterday, walking up Victoria Road with my two adult daughters visiting their old home for the weekend, we had to step around the mess from bins overturned by we assume bladdered idiots on their way home. Festering rubbish including so much discarded food all over the pavement! This morning, three Council staff were picking up and bagging every smelly item- at a cost to the cash strapped Council! In a queue at the Cardigan Road Co-Op recently a friend overheard two students discussion on what a trash heap Hyde Park was. O the irony….

BUT, coming up my street today I chatted to some students who are staying next year, all done with exams apart from one. They’re keeping our recent street-flyer and will be following our tips to pass on their edible food to our Real Junk Food Project down at All Hallows Church, plus any other unwanted stuff which is reusable or recyclable.

When its near to the end of June, my washing machine will be on most days with binned clothes to pass on to charity shops and the South Headingley Community Association table top stall at Kirkstall Festival and Unity Day will benefit from all the stuff that students or their parents cars can’t fit in. Hopefully these will come straight to me, rather than via the bins!

Then it’s a peaceful summer with those of us whose home is here getting the chance to know better the students here over the summer- before October, and another 200+ new neighbours to try to get to know and welcome to the Hyde Park community!

Living Lab Project Call: Single-use plastics at the University of Leeds

Following the University’s recent pledge to become single-use plastic free and the launch of the #2023PlasticFree campaign, Leeds Living Lab has funding available to support research and innovation projects that seek solutions and alternatives to single-use plastics across the University of Leeds (UoL) and Leeds University Union (LUU). Applications are open until Friday 1st February 2019.

UoL and LUU have together pledged to become single-use plastic free by 2023, with catering and office spaces achieving the target by 2020 and additional years to address more challenging areas such as laboratory equipment.

Collaboration and the use of the University as a test-bed are at the heart of the Leeds Living Lab and these funds will be used to provide match funding and seedcorn funding in support of projects which seek solutions to single-use plastics across the University through academic and non-academic partnerships.

Applications will be assessed by members of the Sustainability Steering Group based on the following criteria:

  1. Fit to the principles of the Leeds Living Lab
  2. Alignment with the University’s Sustainability Strategy
  3. Potential to support the University’s single-use plastic pledge
  4. Quality of potential outputs and impacts

We welcome applications led by University of Leeds academics, students (including UG, PG and PhD), research staff (including postdoctoral researchers), and professional and managerial staff across all Schools and Services of the University, and particularly those that develop new interdisciplinary collaborations. Students must have the permission of their supervisor to make the application.

Funding is split into the following two categories:

 

  1. Collaborative research project seedcorn or match funding

Funding is available for research and/or trials of innovative solutions and alternatives to single-use plastics across the University of Leeds. This might include but is not limited to development of new materials, assessment and analysis of current practices, behavioral studies, and tests or trials of innovative solutions.

Funding requested must not exceed £2000 and cannot be used to pay overheads.

Please complete the application form at http://sustainability.leeds.ac.uk/the-living-lab/ and return by email to plasticfree@leeds.ac.uk before midnight on Friday 1st February 2019.

 

  1. Student curricular project grants (i.e. a dissertation or assessed project as part of an UG/PG module)

Funding is available to support student projects focused on solutions and alternatives to single-use plastics across the University of Leeds. This might include but is not limited dissertations or assessed work on the development of new materials, assessment and analysis of current practices, behavioral studies, and tests or trials of innovative solutions.

Funding requested must not exceed £500 and students must ensure that they have the permission of their supervisor before applying.

Please complete the application form at http://sustainability.leeds.ac.uk/the-living-lab/ and return by email to plasticfree@leeds.ac.uk before midnight on Friday 1st February 2019.

All enquiries should be directed to plasticfree@leeds.ac.uk

 

 

Leave Leeds Tidy: pre-Easter collection

Leave Leeds tidy before you head home and get rid of your unwanted glass, clothes and non-perishable food at LUU’s collection point!

Volunteers will be set up outside Hyde Park Picture House on:

  • MONDAY 20th MARCH – 3pm – 7pm
  • WEDNESDAY 22nd MARCH – 3pm – 7pm
  • FRIDAY 24th MATCH – 12pm – 3pm

School of Healthcare Sustainability Survey

As part of the School of Healthcare’s Green Impact Silver Award, the team conducted a staff survey to help understand the attitudes and views on sustainability within the department. This would also provide a baseline of information with which to work with in future years. The questions focused around attitudes, barriers and recommendations and 43 responses were received (which was almost 20% of School staff). As the staff play an important role in meeting sustainability targets, it is beneficial to make sure that they are involved in the decision making process in an attempt to making any initiatives as successful as possible.

 

Overall, the survey was well received and provided a wide range of comments that will be useful for the department when deciding and implementing new sustainability initiatives. The results suggested that staff who answered this survey see sustainability as important and necessary; with most defining it as minimising use of resources, protecting the environment and thinking long term. When asked how they believed they contributed to sustainability at work, the two most common responses were associated with recycling and printing, indicating a focus could be put on other areas.

 

Staff felt the department could be doing more to be sustainable, and provided an interesting range of recommendations on how to do this, including light usage reminders, collecting food waste in kitchens, encouraging more remote working, better communications and changing some working practices and attitudes.

The recommendations on how the School could be more sustainable also seem to be linked to the barriers that are perceived – primarily, school processes, working practices and attitudes, time, lack of communication and issues with facilities.

The most cited barrier that stops staff from being sustainable was time, with many responses stating they are too busy to think about how they can improve their actions. The results showed that the best way to encourage the staff to be more sustainable is to demonstrate the positive impact they are having by taking these alternative actions. The survey also showed that 70% of the respondents were aware of the department’s Food Bank partnership, showing there is potential for improved communication as it is a scheme the department has really tried to push. Email was by far the most preferred method of notification about what the department is doing in relation to sustainability.

 

The information gained showed there was a definite interest in sustainability within the department, with people wanting to be able to do more. The results will influence our continuing work within the School and will also be a useful tool to compare year on year progress and receive continuous feedback.

Jack Clarke & Tim Knighton

Leave Leeds Tidy: pre-Easter collection

Leave Leeds tidy before you head home and get rid of your unwanted glass, clothes and non-perishable food at LUU’s collection point!

Volunteers will be set up outside Hyde Park Picture House on:

  • MONDAY 20th MARCH – 3pm – 7pm
  • WEDNESDAY 22nd MARCH – 3pm – 7pm
  • FRIDAY 24th MATCH – 12pm – 3pm

Leave Leeds Tidy: pre-Easter collection

Leave Leeds tidy before you head home and get rid of your unwanted glass, clothes and non-perishable food at LUU’s collection point!

Volunteers will be set up outside Hyde Park Picture House on:

  • MONDAY 20th MARCH – 3pm – 7pm
  • WEDNESDAY 22nd MARCH – 3pm – 7pm
  • FRIDAY 24th MATCH – 12pm – 3pm