Plastic Free LSE

Without significant action, there may be more plastic than fish in the ocean, by weight, by 2050.
The New Plastics Economy — Rethinking the future of plastics, p.29.

Campaign objectives

The Plastic Free LSE campaign was launched in July 2018 by LSE Director Minouche Shafik. The Plastic Free LSE Impact Report can be viewed HERE.

The campaign aimed to:

1. Support staff and student-led initiatives and projects to enable inividual action and learning.

2. Encourage individuals to reduce usage of single-use plastics and show easy, more sustainable alternatives.

3. Create discussion and raise awareness about the complexity of plastics.

4. Reduce the number of disposable coffee cups sold, single-use water bottles bought, and plastic disposable cutlery and water cups used around LSE.

The campaign targeted four products that were found most common in an internal waste audit. Those products are:

1. Disposable plastic water bottles

2. Single-use plastic cups

3. Disposable coffee cups

4. Plastic disposable cutlery

The campaign also aimed to spark conversations on the nuance of plastic, realising that it has a role in today’s society but should be used, sourced and disposed of responsibly.

Campaign delivery

The campaign provided the focus for many initiatives that followed that year including Green Impact, Reduce the Juice and LSE Green Week, having measurable impact in reducing plastics and the number of people engaged in the issue. Green Impact teams delivered 23 projects which targeted single-use plastics! Read about the projects here

After the campaign 

In 2018-19, Plastic Free LSE was the frame of our engagement initiatives. Whilst our engagement campaigns have shifted on to other topics and areas, we continue to work to minimise single-use plastic around LSE and  educate the LSE community on the issue of plastic pollution.

Start today

  • 1. Give up bottled water. Carry a reusable water bottle around and have unlimited, free refills from any of the 66 water fountains around LSE!
  • 2. Switch from a disposable coffee cup to a reusable mug. Earn yourself a discount each time you buy a hot drink by using a reusable mug. LSE branded Keep Cups available from LSE Catering outlets.
  • 3. Stop using plastic cutlery each time you have lunch out. Take along your own reusable cutlery or why not eat in and use stainless steel? 
  • 4. Make food shopping stylish with a reusable tote bag. Leave the plastic carrier bags in the store and carry with you your own reusable cloth bag. Buy an LSE branded one from the LSESU shop.

Already taken these steps and keen to take it further? Here's 96 more ideas to reduce your plastic waste!

Get in touch to share your actions with us via email, using our Twitter handle @SustainableLSE and include the campaign name, #PlasticFreeLSE!



Use the links below to understand why this issue affects us all.

There are many people taking action into their own hands, from living zero waste lives to joining beach clean-ups. Here are a small few:

  1. The Weekly Shop. LSE Alumni and staff member Diana Szpotowicz recently launched The Weekly Shop, the first zero waste shop in the UK to donate 10% of profits to fund environmental and development projects worldwide.
  2. Plastic Patrol. 'A nationwide campaign to rid our inland waterways of plastic pollution'. Plastic Patrol hosts a series of clean-up events 
  3. #WheresMyWaterFountain? A campaign to get water fountains installed in train stations and airports.