Make Trinity College Dublin a single-use plastic free campus!

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Our goal is to eliminate the sale and use of single-use plastics on the TCD campus. This includes cutlery, cups, bottles and packaging made from disposable, non-compostable plastics.

Now that Trinity has divested from fossil fuels, this should be our next step as a Green Flag campus. 

Introduction:

It is incredibly difficult to go plastic free when buying lunch, a snack, coffee or even a pint on campus. We live in an increasingly ‘disposable’ world and plastic cutlery, cups, bottles, plates, and packaging are everywhere. These items account for the majority of our everyday waste, much of which ends up in our eco-systems, waterways or landfill. Compostable single-use and reusable alternatives do exist and are increasingly available in cafes, restaurants and shops around Ireland.

 Solutions for our Campus:  

  1. The removal of single-use plastics (plastic water bottles, plastic cutlery, plastic plates, styrofoam containers, plastic straws, plastic bags & plastic food/drink containers) from campus.
  2. Introduce eco-friendly and compostable cutlery, coffee cups, bottles & other utensils in campus shops, restaurants & cafes.
  3. Introduce compost bins around campus.
  4. Increase the number of functioning water-fountains around campus.
  5. Increase awareness on campus about the damaging effects of single-use plastic consumption. 

There is no more time for talk. We demand action now.

 The Problem - some fun facts:

  • Only 10% of global plastic is recycled, 14% is incinerated, 40% ends up in a landfill, and the remainder ‘leaks’ into our oceans & ecosystems. By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish (by mass) in our oceans.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans every year.
  • Plastics take 500-1000 years to biodegrade, damaging our marine life and fish stocks.
  • A recent study showed that 83% of drinking water samples have been polluted with plastic microfibres.
  • Current recycling and waste centres only add to the environmental problem by using a lot of water and energy. For example, the carbon used to make a plastic bottle from recycled plastic is still 90% of the carbon used to make one from scratch. 
  • We produce far more waste than we can cope with at home. 87% of Europe’s plastic waste and 95% of Irish plastic waste ends up in China. China have now banned the import of European plastics, so we literally have no where to put it.The only way to solve our waste problem is to reduce it!
  • There are huge “islands” of plastic waste floating in our oceans. See the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is about 1 million km2 of concentrated, floating plastic. Its less concentrated peripheries go on for another 3.5 million km2
  • In recent findings, plastics are found in more than 60% of birds (due to the breakdown of plastic into micro-plastic) & 100% of sea-turtles.

In short:

We want change! Compostable, sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics DO exist, we just need to convince the College and its retailers of their necessity. 

The people of Trinity have demanded action by signing our petition, it is now up to you to take the next steps Trinity College Dublin!



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