Zero waste food such as pasta, grain, rice, etc. display in a store

Zero waste shopping at UWE Bristol

The UWE Bristol Fund has supported the creation of two Zero Waste shops through Student Experience Grants.

A Zero Waste shop was successfully opened on the Frenchay Campus last year. The grant enabled the purchase of high-quality scales and containers to make this idea a reality.

Based within the Students’ Union shop, this initiative has proved highly popular. Students, staff, and even local residents can bring their own containers to the shop to fill them with food or household liquids.

The pilot shop was so successful that another grant has been secured to open a second shop at the Bower Ashton Campus this year, making plastic-free and sustainable consumption accessible to even more students.

Changing behaviour long term

The Zero Waste shop sales have gone from strength to strength since opening. The numbers show that demand is increasing as awareness grows about plastic pollution, and as the range is developed. Every transaction plays a part in reducing single-use plastic consumption. So far at least 500 units worth of plastic stock packaging have been saved.

Hayley Foulkes, Deputy Commercial Manager from UWE Bristol Student’s Union explains how the Zero Waste shop is about a long-term commitment to the environment,

“If an unpackaged item is sold in the zero-waste section, the pre-packaged alternative in the shop is no longer stocked. This is part of our approach to changing behaviour and habits - it encourages customers to start reducing their plastic.”

More about the UWE Bristol Fund

Student Experience Grants, such as those that have made these important projects happen, are only possible through the generous donations of alumni. Find out more about how we could support your project, or about how to donate to support future projects at UWE Bristol Fund.

Frenchay Campus Zero Waste shop facts *

  • 61% of kitchen roll sales are eco-friendly kitchen rolls made from bamboo
  • 7% of bin bag sales are biodegradable
  • The Students Union shop no longer sells cleaning wipes of any kind
  • 25kg of dried fruit snacks have been sold. At an average pack size of 100g, this equates to 250 plastic packets saved.

*data from November 2019 – March 2020

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