CURTIN UNIVERSITY: Takes Action on Campus Sustainability Efforts

Curtin Student Guild swaps food packaging to compostable products

Students always strive to maximise their educational experience and that includes working with their schools to advocate for issues that affect their welfare and wellbeing. The Curtin Student Guild elects student representatives to facilitate dialogue between the student community and the University. Amongst growing concerns of environmental degradation and how this might affect future generations, the Student Guild has consistently championed for the improvement of the University’s sustainability efforts.

The Challenge

Curtin University Student Guild operates numerous food outlets and a catering service across Curtin University’s Bentley campus. Annually, the Curtin University community consumes around 100,000 hot meals, 35,000 sandwiches and rolls, 6,000 breakfasts, 300,000 pieces of sushi and 800,000 espresso shots (source). To mitigate the waste this amount of food has produced, The Guild introduced compostable packaging to replace all single-use packaging as well as a new bin system to receive compostable waste. Since the launch of their new composting system, an estimated 9,135kg of organic waste has been collected and turned into nutrient-rich compost.

Image courtesy of Curtin Student Guild

The Solution

With the support of the Guild, food outlets on campus have adopted the use of environmentally sustainable packaging made from sugarcane pulp, a renewable by-product of sugar refining to serve up takeaway orders. Plastic cutlery is also a thing of the past to make way for more planet-friendly options. Sustainable paper straws have also been introduced. Finally, students and faculty can also now enjoy their coffee fix from environmentally friendly hot cups.

 Image courtesy of Curtin Student Guild Instagram (@curtinguild)

Curtin University have made impressive strides in their journey to become a more environmentally conscious campus. The carbon footprint of BioPak’s green coffee cups alone is 75% less than conventional plastics and on a campus of Curtin’s size that is a significant environmental win.

*Header image courtesy of Curtin Student Guild