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Environmental Impact

Catering Outlets Community Projects Fair Trade

Catering Outlets

Snack Shack

The Coco Cola cups used in Snack Shack are made from paper and are recyclable. We also use a biodegradable eco check paper to wrap our burgers. Meals are presented in recycled and recyclable cardboard containers. They are biodegradable and can by disposed of with food waste. If they are composted, they can completely break down within 16 weeks.

During club nights, we use expanded polystyrene containers which can be recycled although they are not the most easily recyclable material available.

Small changes, big impact: We no longer give out plastic straws as standard from any of our outlets as they are not recyclable. Customers can still request a plastic straw if they wish but this has helped reduce use on a day to day basis.

Small changes, big impact: We no longer give out plastic straws as standard from any of our outlets. Customers can still request a plastic straw but this has helped reduce use on a day to day basis.


Our salads are served in recyclable plastic containers, baguettes are served in recyclable bags and our soup and jacket potato containers are recyclable cardboard that is totally biodegradable and compostable.

The Hut

Meals from The Hut are served in recyclable and biodegradable cardboard containers with semi-grease-proof recyclable paper inserted. We use expandable polystyrene for liquids such as gravy which are deemed recyclable, however we ask customers if they would like sauce served separately to try to limit the amount we have to use.

Community Projects

Our Students’ Union in-house charity, Cardiff Volunteering works with students and local community partners on a number of exciting and innovative volunteering projects that have a positive impact on the environment.

Clean Up Cardiff is a brand new project which sees enthusiastic volunteers help with litter picks, river clean-ups, beach clean-ups and initiatives that look to reduce plastic in the community and beyond. Litter picking events take place every Wednesday afternoon at different locations in Cardiff, with some further afield beach clean-ups throughout the year.

Paper not Plastic, a new volunteering initiative focusing on reducing single-use plastic in the community, will have meetings on Monday evenings, along with regular one-off events.

Our Global Gardens partnership project is about coming together to celebrate ecological and cultural diversity. Weekly organic gardening sessions at the Global Gardens allotment site in Heath and a monthly supper at the Embassy Café aim to support those seeking sanctuary, including refugees and asylum seekers.

Set up by a Medic Undergraduate student in 2015, our Waste Not Want Not volunteering project sees students help redistribute foodstuffs from the Students’ Union and University catering outlets to local homelessness charities. Volunteers also help out with the Cathays Community Fridge project based at Cathays Community Centre - a community fridge where surplus food is shared freely between people in the community. Foodstuffs are donated by local businesses and individuals and our volunteers help with collections, monitoring or spreading the word. Both these initiatives help greatly to the local reduction of food waste.

Find out more about Cardiff Volunteering projects

Fair Trade

Cardiff University (including the Students’ Union) was awarded Fairtrade status in June 2007.

Fairtrade status is awarded by the Fairtrade Foundation, a charity committed to providing disadvantaged producers in the developing world with a better deal for their products.

Fairtrade products are available in both Cardiff University catering/bars outlets and the Students’ Union catering and shop outlets. Many students and staff already purchase Fairtrade products and everyone has a part to play in maintaining the University’s Fairtrade status.

For more information visit fairtrade.org.uk 

Cardiff University Fairtrade Policy

Cardiff University & the Students’ Union are committed to supporting, promoting and using Fairtrade goods.

To achieve this, the University will take actions to maintain Fairtrade status, as defined by the Fairtrade Foundation, and thus commits itself to the 5 goals as laid down by the Foundation.

In particular:

  1. Fairtrade foods will be made available for sale in all campus shops and used in all cafés/ restaurants/ bars on campus. Where this is not possible, there is a commitment to begin to use Fairtrade foods in these establishments as soon as it becomes possible to do so.
  2. Fairtrade foods (for example, coffee and tea) will be served at all meetings hosted by the university and the Students’ Union. In addition, unofficial meetings are encouraged to use Fairtrade foods wherever possible.
  3. The process of achieving and maintaining Fairtrade status will be co-ordinated by a Fairtrade Taskforce that will include representatives from the University, the Students’ Union and students. This group will oversee the ongoing implementation of an action plan to maintain the Fairtrade status for the University.
  4. The Fairtrade Taskforce will organise the publicity for Fairtrade fortnight and other promotions of Fairtrade products on an ongoing basis to ensure awareness-raising is maintained.
  5. The Fairtrade Taskforce will send a yearly report on 'Fairtrade in the University/Students’ Union' to Student Council and University Board to be forwarded to the Fairtrade Foundation in fulfilment of the requirement for achieving Fairtrade status.