Sustainable packaging and green initiatives on campus

sustainable packaging
London has the unenviable title of being the plastic straw capital of Europe. Image © Horia Varlan

SOAS’s fulfilment of its promise to divest from fossil fuels has rightly hit the headlines, but there are plenty of other green initiatives taking place around campus, which sometimes slip beneath the radar.

Greenthing Initiative

The Greenthing Initiative brings together SOAS, Birkbeck and LSHTM in a joint project to help improve our shared Bloomsbury environment.

Activities have included a new recycling bin trial; an electrical waste amnesty; a sustainability marketplace; and a film screening of a food waste story.

Solar SOAS

The Solar SOAS project is a community energy initiative, which has successfully installed solar panels on the unused roof spaces of the School’s buildings.

The project generates an annual green fund, which can be used by the SOAS community, and the model is currently being expanded to other universities.

A greener SOAS estate

The SOAS Estates and Facilities Directorate established an Environment and Sustainability Group to look at issues relating to the School’s carbon footprint, sustainable development and recycling.

As a consequence, SOAS has consistently rated highly on the People and Planet University League, which ranks universities on their environmental and ethical performance.

Pack the Future

The Museum of Brands, Advertising and Packaging has recently launched a new exhibition called Pack the Future on the topic of sustainable packaging.

The items in the display all exhibit innovative ideas in either design, material, or use in order to limit packaging’s burden on the environment.

The exhibition runs until the summer, and is free with a general admittance ticket.

The Last Straw

The Evening Standard has launched a campaign to eradicate plastic straws from London’s streets.

The campaign is aimed at cafes and coffee shops; bars and restaurants; as well as people at home, to switch from using plastic straws in drinks, and to change to a more environmentally-friendly alternative such as compostable, edible or multi-use straws.

Get involved

SOAS has a number of student societies, where it is possible to get involved with green issues, these include:

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