Working together for a waste-free campus

28th October 2019

IFE’s committed ‘green champions’ are helping to fulfil QUT’s commitment to real-world sustainability through initiatives such as food waste collection and plastic recycling, earning the team a health, safety and environment recognition award from Chancellor Tim Fairfax on 10 October.

On 17 October, IFE’s ‘green champions’ also joined forces with researchers and other university staff to find innovative new ways to reduce single-use plastic, food and other types of waste on campus.

Workshop participants analysed incoming and outgoing waste streams at QUT and the interconnections between these. Groups identified a range of opportunities to reduce waste including:

  • using hand dryers instead of paper towels
  • reducing waste associated with catering and events including packaging and food waste
  • cutting down on waste associated with ordering and excess packaging of office consumables.

The workshop was part of an ongoing research study called Designing-Out Plastic: Creating innovative ways to reduce and manage plastic waste involving Dr Manuela Taboada, Professor Leonie Barner, Associate Professor Alice Payne and Dr Kathleen Mullen.

Researchers will use workshop findings to create a proposal for the university outlining a list of targeted actions and/or policies that could be implemented to move QUT towards a single-use plastic free environment.

QUT Facilities Management is already making great strides in reducing plastic waste through initiatives such as going plastic straw free on campus and introducing water bottle refilling stations.

If you have any suggestions about how QUT could reduce its waste, please email

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