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Motivated by student concerns about environmental sustainability, Curtin Student Guild has swapped close to 100% of its food packaging to biodegradable and compostable products.
The Guild operates a range of food outlets across Curtin University’s Bentley campus as well as a catering service.
Each year, Curtin students and staff consume close to 100,000 hot meals, 35,000 sandwiches and rolls, 6000 breakfasts, 300,000 pieces of sushi and 800,000 espresso shots.
Over the past 12 months the Guild has replaced plastic take-away containers with carbon neutral packages made from sugarcane pulp, a renewable by-product of sugar refining. Plastic cutlery is a thing of the past and the Curtin community now has its coffee fix from environmentally friendly cups.
At the same time, the Guild has introduced bioplastic cups for cold drinks, sustainable straws, recyclable cardboard trays for student favourites such as burgers and compostable and recyclable containers for sushi which is made and packaged on site every day.
Curtin Student Guild President Finlay Nolan said that as an organisation with a major commercial arm we had an obligation to manage our activities in a sustainable way and minimise the environmental impact of our operations.
“The carbon footprint of our green coffee cups alone is 75% less than conventional plastics and on a campus of Curtin’s size that is a significant environmental win,” she said.
According to the Guild’s Food and Beverage Manager Kelli Edwards, the Guild’s food and beverage team have worked hard to introduce sustainable products that also meet the needs of students and staff.
“It’s important that these products stand up to heat and cold temperatures and that they complement the taste, texture and presentation of food.”
At the same time Ms Edwards said that the Guild was looking at other opportunities to improve sustainability.
“We recently carried out energy audit and as a result we have identified improvements which will reduce our consumption and we are exploring the opportunity for on-site composting,” she said.
About Curtin Student Guild
Curtin Student Guild was established in 1969 to represent the interests of students and help them get the most out of their university experience. Elected student representatives sit on all major university boards and committees. The Guild coordinates free and low cost events, administers clubs and operates food and retail outlets. A Student Assist service provides independent academic, financial and personal advice.
For more information about the history of the Guild and its activities head to our website.
Curtin Student Guild President
Curtin Student Guild