Swansea University have become the first university in Wales to open a zero waste shop.
Located on its Singleton Park campus, Root Zero is run by the Students’ Union and offers both students and staff a unique and sustainable shopping experience.
The shop follows a bring your own container concept, which helps to reduce packaging and food waste and stocks a choice of eco-lifestyle and sustainable products such as wholefoods, pulses, pasta, chocolate, coffee, fruit, detergents and hand wash.
Swansea University Students’ Union raised £985 through the University’s Wave crowdfunding platform to help towards the cost of the store, which included contributions from the public and both the University’s Sustainability and Enterprise teams.
Since opening, the shop has also been helping student entrepreneurs by providing them with a space to promote their business and sell their products.
Luke Green, a second-year student with the School of Management was one of the first to benefit, with Root Zero stocking ‘GoGo Coffee’ which he set up earlier this year.
“As a start-up company and student, having the opportunity to sell my products from a permanent location is so helpful and will be appreciated by so many other students,” he said.
The Students’ Union employs solely students to work in the store and employs over 260 people per year across all their venues and outlets on campus so that students can earn money flexibly alongside their studies.
President of the Students’ Union, Grace Hannaford said:
“With the ever-increasing need to take positive steps to reduce our impact on the environment, we felt a zero waste store would not only help people to make these changes in their lives, but to create the awareness of how much single use plastic we have come to rely on.
“We hope that Swansea University and the Students’ Union can be the start of everyone’s journey to lower their carbon footprint and work towards a more sustainable future for generations to come.”