The library confirmed in a meeting that it will allow students to bring hot drinks inside from the new year. Previously, students had to consume hot drinks outside the main library and in the library cafe.
Students’ Union President, Frida Gustafsson, said: “I’m so glad to see the Library finally allowing students to bring hot drinks in the library – I think it’s going to make a big difference to our students and it’s an excellent example of what can come out of the university and student body working together.
“This was a manifesto point of mine, and I’ve worked to get the library to allow hot drinks into the library ever since I started in June. This is the result of collaborations between the Students’ Union and the fantastic library team, headed by Jane Harvell, on how we can make the library better for our students.”
A thousand reusable, sealable cups are to be given to students. The library will only allow hot drinks in containers with screw top, sealable lids and not take away cups. Aimed at reducing spillage, this should also make the initiative more environmentally friendly considering the mass waste produced by non-recyclable coffee cups. It may also contribute to Sussex’s environmentally friendly reputation. Sussex improved in People & Planet’s university leagues this year.
A new water bottle refill scheme is also being rolled out across the city. Refill Brighton and Hove will allow members of the public to refill their water bottles in participating venues such as shops and cafes. This will hopefully reduce plastic and other waste and is part of a wider, national initiative. More information about the scheme can be found here. Brighton and Hove are also looking into installing water fountains around the city.
This comes amid national concerns surrounding waste and plastic pollution. London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, is to set up a new network of water refilling stations and water fountains across the capital. Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is looking into a plastic bottle return deposit scheme whereby products in plastic bottles will have their prices increased slightly. Those who return their plastic bottles will have the fee refunded. Other nations already practise the scheme.
The new library drinks rule, to come into force in the new year, will be trialled for six months and reviewed in May. Other library rules still remain in force i.e. library users’ phones must be on silent or off and eating is not allowed. The full list of library rules can be viewed here.