Trinity College Dublin to become disposable plastic free zone

The university is phasing out plastic over the next two years

Trinity College Dublin to become disposable plastic free zone

File photo shows the exterior of Trinity College in Dublin's College Green | Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Trinity College has announced its campus is to become a disposable plastic free zone in the next two years.

The university is to phase out disposable plastic containers and utensils.

It has asked its students to decide which items to start with, by voting in an online poll.

Among the options are to replace disposable glasses with reusable ones, abolish all plastic cutlery and replace all straws with biodegradable ones.

The college says: "All of single-use plastic cups from the Buttery (dining hall) will end up in the rubbish, and from there into a landfill or incinerator.

"Plastic takes over 200 years to decompose, and it leaks pollutants into the soil and water.

"As part of the Plastic Free Campus campaign - let's do what we can... to stop adding to landfills."

On plastic cutlery, it says: "An estimated 16,000 items of food are bought by Trinity students and staff every day.

"A portion of these are bought in the Buttery.

"A conservative estimate suggests that 1,000 pieces of plastic knifes, forks and spoons end up in the bin, each week."

And on its effort to bring in biodegradable straws, Trinity says: "Paper straws take between six weeks and two years to decompose. Plastic straws takes over a 200 years. A significant difference.

"Nearly every piece of plastic ever made, regardless of whether it has been recycled, still exists."

It says this project would mean hundreds of straws "will not end up in land-fill every week and contaminate the soil for 200 years".