The University of Adelaide is moving towards becoming single-use plastic-free. Our first step is to transition all food and beverages made on campus, to compostable packaging for composting by the start of Semester 1 2021.

Over the last 12 months, we have worked with our retailers and suppliers to make this transition happen. Our ‘Compostables on Campus’ campaign celebrates this important first step and encourages staff and students to use our green bins effectively to maximise composting. This campaign also involves a new mandate for Plastic-Free events, workshops and conferences from 2021 onwards.

Does this campaign support the university’s strategic sustainability goals?

Compostables on Campus supports the University’s Campus Sustainability Plan and landfill diversion targets. Baseline composting volumes have been taken to understand the future impact of this campaign.

What challenges has this campaign navigated?

Some retailers had difficulty finding alternative packaging for items such as bubble tea and hot soups. Working with suppliers, we were able to find good substitutes. We also had to install new public place organic recycling bins, update existing signage and add additional signage.

What advice would you give to other institutions looking to replicate this campaign?

Understand the timing of your retail leases, and leave plenty of time for the transition to occur. Promote retailers packaging choices and their views on sustainability.

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