Skip to main content


Beating plastic pollution: what we’re doing to help

5 June 2018

Did you know today is World Environment Day? A day where well over 100 countries and millions of people across the world drive environmental change. Since 1974, World Environment Day has raised awareness and sought action on issues such as marine pollution, global warming, sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. Across Cardiff University there is a wealth of sustainability research taking place, much of it through the Sustainable Places Research Institute and by our brilliant PhD students. At the Doctoral Academy, we’re making a concerted effort to be more sustainable in all our practices. Here, our Green Impact Lead, Kelly Jeffreys @Kelly_Jeffreys, outlines the ways in which we’re making a difference…

This year’s World Environment Day theme is ‘Beat the Plastic Pollution.’ You’re probably already aware that plastic pollution is one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time. Did you know that 5 trillion plastic bags and 13 million tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean each year? This leads to the death of 100,000 marine animals every year. We are probably all guilty of buying plastic bottled water, carelessly using straw after straw while drinking soft drinks, or using plastic cutlery. These items take 100 years to degrade in the environment, and we most likely use them in under an hour. We need to change our mindset if we want to prevent our oceans having more plastic than fish by 2050. But how do we do this?

At the Doctoral Academy this is something we are currently investigating. We want to make a change and reduce our plastic consumption. We have recently switched to compostable cups and provide these during coffee breaks. We no longer buy bottled water, and instead provide tap water. We are also phasing out providing plastic cups, and encouraging our researchers to bring their own water bottles. In addition, within the team we are making our own individual pledges this year.

Doctoral Academy Officer Dr James Farror is making a pledge to use a reusable water bottle.










Senior Administrative Assistant Fernando Pabst Silva is pledging to carry his tote bag with him.










And I’m making the switch from plastic toothbrushes to bamboo.










We urge you to take part in the #BeatPlasticPollution pledge by giving up one item of single use plastic. You could even make the pledge by bringing your own cup to our workshops rather than using the disposable cups provided. If you would like to get involved, then take a selfie of yourself with your reusable item, use the hashtags #WorldEnvironmentDay and #BeatPlasticPollution and mention @UNEnvironment and @CardiffDA

If you have any ideas about how we can advocate sustainability, or if you would like to become a Green Impact Champion and work with us to run events that promote sustainability, then please drop me a line at