Out with the paper cups!

Just like anywhere else, a coffee break is a welcomed break on the campus of the University of Paderborn.

Just like anywhere else, a coffee break is a welcomed break on the campus of the University of Paderborn. Whether “to-go” or enjoyed in one of the eateries of the Studierendenwerk, 2/3 of the hot drinks sold since April 2017 have been in paper cups. This, despite the fact that the Studierendenwerk charged an extra 20 cents for the paper cup. 

On April 1, 2017, the Studierendenwerk introduced its own cups with a €1 deposit. At the same time, the price of the disposal paper cups was raised by 50 cents. A direct result was that the use of paper cups dropped by 72 % within a short time. The fear that the Studierendenwerk’s cups would not find their way back to the dishwashers was proven wrong, thankfully. 

Alongside those measures, the Studierendenwerk Paderborn began informing customers about the environmental impact of paper cups and the health concerns about the consumption of cold and hot drinks from the widely used disposable cups. 

As part of the European Week of Waste Reduction (November 17-25, 2018), the Studierendenwerk went a step further. With an early advanced notice, the paper cups disappeared completely from the campus of the University of Paderborn during this week. Erhard Wolf, the head of gastronomy at the Studierendenwerk, happily said that “the response from the guests was consistently positive!” He added that “there were a few inquiries, but nothing negative. Instead there was a lot of praise!” Carsten Walther, the managing director of the Studierendenwerk, was also excited about the results stating, “we are very pleased by the response of our guests, which is an incentive for us to continue: “out with the paper cups!” 

Since November 17, 2018, there are no paper cups to be found on the campus of the University of Paderborn. It is also in the plans to get rid of paper cups from the Bistro Hotspot in the HNF. Starting in 2019, hot drinks will only be sold in cups with a deposit or in cups brought in by the guests. 

Enjoying coffee in a heathy way: since 2014, the Studierendenwerk Paderborn has been serving its guests coffee in a ceramic Fairtrade to go cup for a one-time cost of €4, with refills costing 80 cents. 

Additional waste reduction projects of the Studierendenwerk Paderborn:
Over 120 tons of potatoes, approximately 23 tons of fish and 91 tons of meat products, 200 tons of lettuce and vegetables, 30 tons of fruit, and 100 tons of dairy products are used to cook more than 1.2 million lunches yearly. In addition, there is also food for breakfast, snacks, and dinner, as well as for over 1,400 events. Even here, we were able to make ecological improvements on the  handling of foods:

Together with the suppliers EGV | AG Herford and Manss Frischeservice GmbH, the Studierendenwerk has now implemented a new way of securing goods in the form of roll container coverings or straps. This avoids over 200 km of plastic wrap.

Another measure is that Manss Frischeservice GmbH now uses reusable crates from Euro Pool Systems which means avoiding the use of cardboard boxes for fresh produce like lettuce. The company makes local deliveries in an electric vehicle.

The measures implemented are in accordance with the goals of the European Week of Waste Reduction. 

The Studierendenwerk Paderborn is in talks with other suppliers about implementing similar measures.