Jenna Bradwell

Reusable cups win over disposables

UOW staff and students have been rewarded for using reusable coffee mugs and Keep Cups at coffee outlets on campus.

Members of the Environmental and Sustainability Initiatives (ESI) Unit kept an eye out across the University’s Wollongong campus, spotting people partaking in sustainable drinking practices.

When staff and students were spotted by ESI unit staff and Environmental Advisory Committee members, their details were recorded and they went in the draw to win one of three vouchers for 50 coffees. The winners of the coffee vouchers were: Sian O’Sullivan, PASS; Wayne Clark, UniCentre; and Sandra Humphrey, CEDiR.

The idea behind the ‘spotted campaign’ was to reward those doing the right thing and provide an incentive for those who were not to change their habits.

The ESI unit aimed to raise awareness of the issue as well as the amount of waste created by disposable cups. UOW’s Environment Manager, Lisa Miller said that around 3000 disposable cups go to landfill every day at UOW’s main campus, a statistic that needs improving.

“By taking a reusable cup, whether it’s a mug, Keep Cup or travel mug, you can help reduce this number every day,” she said.

The competition was part of sustainAbility, UOW’s Green Office program which seeks to raise awareness of environmental issues in the office and on campus. Alexandra McPaul, who developed the program, said the green office program aimed to encourage staff and students to take steps towards becoming more sustainable in the officers and across the broader campus.

“Every two months we focus on a different area of environmental impact. The ‘have you been spotted?’ competition was part of our focus on waste,” she said.

The competition was accompanied by several other waste based events including a tour of Flagstaff’s recycling facility and ‘Friday File Fling’, a PlanetArk recycling week initiative.

For more information or to get involved as an Environment Champion, contact the Environmental & Sustainability Initiatives Unit at

By:Alexandra McPaul


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  • Coffee vouchers were awarded to (from left) Wayne Clark (UniCentre), Sandra Humphrey (CEDiR) and Sian O’Sullivan (PASS) for using reusable cups.

  • UOW staff and students ‘spotted’ using their reusable cups by the UOW Environmental and Sustainability Initiatives Unit.