‘Sustainable Plate’ initiative

Since the implementation of the ban on single-use plastic items in New South Wales (NSW), UniBar has actively undertaken initiatives to address environmental concerns and promote sustainable practices. The University of Wollongong’s Pulse stands out for its impactful ‘Sustainable Plate’ program, a collaborative effort with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). Through this 12-month pilot initiative, reusable plates, bowls, and cutlery were introduced at the campus food court and UniBar, effectively reducing reliance on disposable containers.

This eco-friendly undertaking successfully diverted 13,000 containers from the landfill at the food court, along with an additional 9,000 at UniBar, amounting to a significant reduction of 22,000 pieces of single-use plastic. The campus has witnessed a substantial decline in plastic waste, thereby minimizing its ecological footprint, fostering a culture of sustainability, and generating awareness within the local community.


We love our earth

Some of the incredible initiatives that have been put in place include:

Reduced waste to landfill by 84% (from 1200L to 1920 L per week).

Replacing plastic packaging with certifiable alternatives made from renewable resources.

Replacing single use cups and plastic straws has eliminated the use of approximately 50,000 cups and 10,000 straws per year.

Installation of a Pulpmaster waste to energy system to pulp food waste and compostable food packaging.

Provision of general waste, recycling and organic waste bins. Staff sort through bins to remove contamination before disposal.

The introduction of a soft plastic bin and recycling process.


In 2018, the UniBar was officially acknowledged as an ‘Ocean Friendly’ venue by the Surfrider Foundation Australia. The Ocean Friendly Program recognises businesses who are reducing single-use plastic items and demonstrating a commitment to reducing negative environmental impacts.

UOW Pulse was awarded Winner of the 2018 Green Gown Awards Australasia in the Campus Health, Food & Drink category. The Green Gown Awards is the first and only Award Scheme dedicated to recognising excellence in sustainability within the tertiary education sector in Australasia. The Campus Health, Food & Drink category recognises achievements beyond good practice in the delivery of campus food, drink and hospitality. It celebrates innovation, creativity and consideration for procurement, delivery, communication which has resulted in behaviour changes across staff, students and community.

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