Did you know that on average 317 hot drinks were served in disposable cups from one Essex Food outlet in one day, compared to just 34 hot drinks served in a reusable cup?

That’s approximately 8000 disposable cups in a month, for one outlet! – That’s a lot of waste!

In 2020, the University of Essex joined many global organisations in declaring a climate emergency, recognising the impact we have on the local, national, and global environment. Since then, the Sustainability Team have been helping Essex Food make positive environmental impact changes across their service.

“Sustainability is a fundamental part of our future planning and is directly referenced as an objective in the University’s strategy for 2019-25. We consider finding solutions for environmental issues to be a key factor in the educational experience of each student.” - Sustainability Team

And that’s where our students, staff, and local community come in. By making little choices we can make big changes, starting simply with your morning coffee run.

From Monday 15 January 2024, a 25p surcharge will be applied to all hot drinks in Essex Food outlets (Bonds, Crumbs, Lakeside Theatre Café, Stem and Root and Zest fresh); also known as a ‘latte levy’. Customers who bring in any reusable cup will have the surcharge waivered. The ‘latte levy’ is common in many well know coffee shops on the high street and implementing it will help us reduce waste and the use of disposable cups.

Remembering to bring your reusable cup might be tricky at first but, if you do forget, we have reusable cups for sale in selected café outlets. Buy a reusable cup for £5 and your first hot drink is FREE. The thought of saving £10 a month, based on buying a hot drink a day, 5 days a week, is a good reminder to bring your reusable cup on campus.

Visit the Essex Food homepage for more information on our sustainability goals, and our outlets on campus, and their opening hours.