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Marjon joins Plastic Free Plymouth pledge

Released: 15.02.23

Plastic Free Plymouth Charter

Plymouth Marjon University has joined over 300 Plymouth organisations in the Plastic Free Plymouth campaign led by Environment Plymouth.

Environment Plymouth, which launched in 2017, is a network of groups and individuals dedicated to making Plymouth a greener place and tackling issues around sustainability. The group have a combined goal of preventing plastic pollution. 

The University has signed the pledge to strive to become a plastic-free organisation. The Pledge enables organisations to detail how they are committing to reducing the use of plastic and how they will pursue this.  

As part of the Pledge, Marjon is aiming to focus on recycling and reusing to reduce waste, raise awareness of the harm plastics can do for our environment, encourage positive behaviours with recycling and good practice, and remove as much single-use plastic as possible. 

In partnership with its catering supplier, Chartwells, Marjon aims to have 100% reusable or recyclable disposable food service packaging in their catering outlets by 2024. 

The University is kicking things off with a campus-wide ban on balloon and lantern releases. Many balloons are not biodegradable and pose threats to the natural environment and wildlife. Marjon is looking to tackle that threat by eliminating them from campus. 

Marjon has also joined the Plastic Free Plymouth Directory as a Bronze Member for its commitment and ongoing efforts towards sustainability.  

Professor Debby Cotton, Sustainability Strategic Lead at Plymouth Marjon University, said “This is another fantastic accolade to add to our rapidly growing commitment to sustainability. We have a thriving community at Marjon that is passionately committed to positive environmental change, and it starts with our young people. Making this pledge helps to educate our students and encourage them to protect the planet for their futures.”  

The pledge adds to the University’s long-standing engagement with sustainability. Last year, Marjon held an event to mark the completion of its Marjon Zero project, an initiative to make the University carbon-free by 2030.  

At the Marjon Zero event, the Lord Mayor of Plymouth Councillor Sue Dann, commented ‘Marjon is taking amazing steps to be net zero. They have been a key part of the Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan. Green growth is good for the planet and economy; we’re looking after future generations now.’ 

As part of the Marjon Zero initiative, the University was awarded a £5.3m grant to install 2,000 solar panels atop its campus buildings and install 55 ground source heat pumps (GSHP), one of the largest non-domestic GSHP projects in England to date. The solar panels and GSHPs provide the University with renewable energy instead of fossil fuel options.  

The University welcomes suggestions from its students and staff on how it can become a more sustainable institution.  

If you are a student and would like to become more involved, try joining the SU Environmental Society here.  

Find out more about Marjon Zero here.  

If you would like to learn more about the pledge and Environment Plymouth, find more information here.

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