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Plastic coffee cups are no trophies

#OneLessCup aims to create awareness among University students about coffee cup waste. Participants join in the initiative by using a travel mug instead of disposable cups.

#OneLessCup aims to create awareness among University students about coffee cup waste. Participants join in the initiative by using a travel mug instead of disposable cups.

Going against all odds and the hackneyed view of today’s young generation, I recently came to know better the eNGO Youth For The Environment (Y4TE). Run by a friendly group of 10 young executive members, the organisation works with youths in their teens and upwards to raise awareness of the environ­ment in their everyday lives.

Established six years ago, Y4TE has built quite a strong reputation through social events and plugs in traditional media apart from social media. Despite being a non-profit organisation with no financial income it has consistently tackled hot envi­ronmental topics and prioritised this little island’s natural environment, or what’s left of it.

A fresh lot of mugs will be distributed to students, only this time against a nominal price

Without trying to get into any political agenda or sharing my personal opinion about local environmental issues, I thought of promoting the ongoing initia­tive that Y4TE is campaigning for.

Going by the name #OneLessCup, the idea was introduced a year ago, during a week-long campaign introduced by Wasteserv called European Week For Waste Reduction. #OneLessCup aims at creating awareness among University students about coffee cup waste and coming up with solutions to reduce the amount of waste produced by disposable cups.

A social media campaign was held with different posts going up throughout the week, shored up by a blog post. Followers participated by sending in photos of themselves joining in the initiative by using a travel mug instead of disposable cups.

Students are big coffee drinkers and trend setters. A total of 150 travel mugs, provided by a sponsor, were given out to students to look into the feasibility of the project. It was an overwhelming success – the travel mugs were in high demand with students using them all around the campus and reducing coffee cup waste.

The executive members of the organisation are now in phase two of the project. They are working on a new design to print on a fresh lot of travel mugs that will be distributed to University students, only this time against a nominal price to help in the running of the organisation.

While congratulating Y4TE I encourage fellow students to join in this initiative and to do their bit to help make this world a better place and prove that the new generation is not so bad after all.

Janice Falzon is reading for a Bachelor of Communications with Maltese degree at the University of Malta.

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