Promotional reusable mugs: green initiative or merchandising landfill?

AKA: Rich has had too much coffee on a Friday and gotten heavily sidetracked.

The university I often work for (and have two degrees from) has a pretty good reputation for environmental sustainability. De Montfort University has recently become a Global Hub for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs aren’t entirely focused on carbon emissions, pollution or waste but impact on the natural environment is obviously a very big part of it.

One thing they’ve done recently is a very big push towards eliminating single use plastics on campus, specifically in the realm of disposable hot drink containers. Rather than give a 25p discount for bringing a reusable mug for your hot drink, the university now charges 25p more if you *dont* bring a reusable mug. As the new academic year starts and at events like freshers week, thousands of free reusable mugs have been given away to staff and students to help encourage this.

Wow, cool! So, how many reusable mugs have been given out? 21,000 ?!?

Continue reading