Grab a free bottle and help heal the oceans

Today as part of Sustainable City Week 2017 Library Services will be handing out exclusive water bottles to City students and staff from 11:30 am in the Northampton Square Library.

Get your hands on one of these (whilst stocks last)Joi
  • Britain consumes 3 billion litres of bottled water per year.
  • Typically bottled water retails at up to 500 times more than the price of tap water
  • The average student will spend £25,000 on bottled water and associated soft drinks in their lifetime.

The majority of bottled water is sold in PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles. All PET bottles can be recycled. Yet it is estimated that only 3 billion of the 13 billion plastic bottles of water sold in the UK  in 2007 were recycled.

Plastic waste, including bottles often end up in the oceans. The Eastern Garbage Patch is an area 6 times the size of England, where plastic outweighs plankton by 6:1. It is the world’s largest waste dump.

Together we can stop this happening. Join us today to get a free reusable bottle, whilst stocks last and let’s end plastic waste in the oceans.


All facts from these pages:

Bottles up

Facts from University of Nottingham 

Plastic Oceans


What is City doing to reduce waste?


Overall winners of Sustainability City Awards

Library Services have only gone done it again. 

Here at Library Services we work very hard to improve our environmental impact and to promote sustainability to everyone at City.

This week we have been awarded Overall Winner of City’s Sustainability League for the second year running. We faced some very stiff competition from some very tough and capable opponents from across City (think D2: The Mighty Ducks and you get the picture).*

Photo of awards
Library Services won a platinum award and were named overall winner in June’s awards.

Library Services have been awarded platinum level for sustainability every year since 2014. This year we organised a series of activities to improve the environmental impact of the library and to promote sustainable initiatives around the libraries. In the last year we have:

We hope to carry on the great work in the coming years.

*Jokes: everyone at City is super lovely. We couldn’t resist the joke. It’s a great film though (and available on Box of Broadcasts). But seriously, this year teams from across City organised some absolutely brilliant campaigns like gardening in Northampton Square and a food bank collection.

Find out more about the great work that City does for sustainability.

Bin to the Library during exams season?

Help us improve the Library’s environmental impact. 

In a recent waste audit of library spaces around 30% of our recycling bins were contaminated with items that could not be recycled. The main culprits were plastic bags, paper coffee cups and crisp packets. Contaminated recycling bins can mean that none of the goods in the bag get recycled.

What can get recycled at City

You can recycle of all these items in the dry recycle bins:

  • Paper and card (including paper towels)
  • Plastic bottles and containers
  • Food and drink cans
  • Drink cartons
  • Glass
Can you recycle cans and bottles? Yes
Remember to recycle cans and bottles after use. Better yet reuse them.
Can you recycle coffee cups? No
Remember you cannot recycle coffee cups

City recycles loads of stuff:  everything from paper to old stationery and mobile phones. There are only a few things that you can’t recycle at City. General waste bins should only be used as a last resort and should include food-contaminated items, crisp packets, sweet wrappers, disposable coffee cups and expanded polystyrene.

The challenge

During exam season we will be encouraging you to recycle or reuse items to help improve the sustainability in the Library. Our colleagues in the Sustainability Team at City will help us test the contamination rate of recycling points across the Library. We hope that our contamination rate falls to 0 – 20%. Keep watching the table below to see how we do.

  Level 3 Level 5 Level 6
24th April  40%  30%  20%
1st May  35%  30%  30%
8th May  33% 30%  10%
15th May  33%  25%  12%
22nd May  30%  25%  15%
29th May  20%  20%  10%


Recycling is good for the planet

According to Planet Now:

  • If we recycle all the steel packaging we use in a year, it would save enough energy to make over 50,000 return train journeys between London and Edinburgh!
  • We currently save enough energy from recycling glass to chill 34 bottles of wine each day for every UK household!
  • Recycling one drinks can could save enough energy to power a TV for four hours.

Library Services and the planet

Library Services work hard to improve sustainability. Over the last year we have organised stalls for water bottles and Fairtrade chocolates, contributed to the City bookshare and raised over £250 for charity. That is why we were named Green Team of the Year 2016-17.


Library Staff Love #4: Bins

Garbage. Dumpster. Trash can.

The humble dustbin comes in a variety of forms and synonyms, none more exciting than the dazzling array of new multi-purpose bins we have across all the Library sites. Simon B in particular is a big fan of our new bins and wanted to share with everyone just why he loves them so:

“The new bins are great… real snazzy and come in a fetching palette of soothing greys, black and green. You can put recyclable waste in the green bit and non-recyclable waste in black bit, and as long as food has been emptied from the containers you can recycle them… the new bins help support the University’s waste management policies and encourage sustainable processes.”

Our 'snazzy' new bins
Our ‘snazzy’ new bins

We hope that having more snazzy bins throughout Library spaces has made it much easier for users to dispose of plastic packets and cardboard containers, especially since the new policy on allowing cold snacks was introduced.

Thanks for sharing your love of bins Simon!