Latte Levy

We are constantly looking for new ways to reduce the environmental impact of our business at every stage of our operations, from selecting suppliers through to production and delivery. In January 2019, Commercial Services introduced a 20p charge for single use coffee cups, just like the 5p plastic bag initiative.

In just 7 months, the latte levy has raised over £22,000! The Commercial Services departments of the University of York and YUSU have been working together to ensure that the funds are used to introduce sustainable initiatives across campus, and to fund local community projects. 

Recycling station

You may have seen that we recently introduced a recycling station outside the Student Union building. The station includes 8 different sections which encourage students and staff to recycle different materials inclduing; cables, oral care products, pens, clothing, drinks cans, crisp packets, plastic bottles and sweet wrappers! We hope that the new recycling station, and it's visibility will increase awareness of recycling at the University of York.

Tonne of tins

In July 2019, Minster FM (a York based radio station) launched a campaign asking for donations of tinned food for North Yorkshire’s Food Banks. After seeing the campaign, we donated £1,000 worth of tinned food. The campaign successfully collected over 2 tonnes of tinned food, and these will be split between several food banks including York Food Bank, Selby District Food Bank, Ryedale Food Bank and Hambleton Food Share.To find out more information please visit:


You may have seen that we are gradually introducing giant YORCUP bins around campus so people can put their cups, liquids and lids in the bins, instead of waiting to hand them back to outlet staff. In total we have purchased 7 bins which will be located in different outlets across Campus East and Campus West. We hope that the bins make it easier for students and staff to hand cups back, so that the YORCUP scheme can continue to reduce single-use plastic on campus.

Water bottles

As part of our plan to eliminate single-use plastic on campus, we have now joined the #RefillRevolution. Refill is an award-winning campaign designed to help you reduce your plastic waste. We used funds from the Latte Levy to purchase 500 reusable water bottles. We are giving away the reusable water bottles for free during freshers, to encourage the use of reusable water bottles instead of buying a single-use plastic bottle. We have also added our catering outlets and water fountains to the Refill app, so you can download the app to find the closest location to refill your water bottles.

YourCafe Donation

YourCafé is a café in York which aims to ensure everyone can afford to buy food. They take donations from shops, cafés and restaurants, then sell them at a ‘pay what you want’ price. People from the local community can go and buy fresh fruit and vegetables and choose what they want to pay based on what they can afford. We regularly support YourCafé with donations of equipment and food. In 2019 we donated £200 from the Latte Levy to help them purchase essential kitchen items. For more information please visit:

Can Crushers

We began recycling cans at Glasshouse on Campus East, and we used the Latte Levy funds to purchase can crushers so we could continue recycling the cans, and begin doing it on a larger scale.


Scoop is a student co-operative providing organic, exploitation-free and locally sourced produce at affordable prices. You can buy produce and order vegetable boxes from their shop at Wentworth W/021 on Wednesdays and Fridays 10am-6pm, and at the Good Food Market. We were able to make a donation of £500 from the Latte Levy, to support their great work on campus. For more information please visit:

Sustainable Outdoor Seating

Funds from the latte levy were used to buy outdoor seating for Vanbrugh College. These seats are all made from recycled plastic and will last 25 years before needing to be replaced. The seats are bright and colourful and we hope it makes sitting out in the sun even more enjoyable!

Bamboo Lunch Boxes

To help promote the use of reusable packed lunch boxes, instead of disposable containers, we are giving away 500 free bamboo lunch boxes during freshers week. The lunch boxes are made from bamboo and come with a reusable knife and fork. We hope this will encourage students to use their own boxes to take food away from our catering outlets, and decrease the amount of single-use plastic on campus!

Cycle to work

We supported the Universtriy of York's cut carbon campaign by giving free cake to people who cycled or got the bus to work! They claimed their piece of cake by showing thier bus ticket or cycle helmet when purchasing a coffee. 


After launching the YORCUP scheme, more than 3,330 people joined and over 8,000 cups were put into circulation. Because not all the cups were returned, we needed to buy more cups to expand the scheme. We hope that with encouragement and increasing awareness of the scheme, more staff and students will choose to hand their cups back instead of throwing them away, misplacing them or leaving them at home.

Ballot boxes

After noticing how many cigarette butts were littered across our beautiful campus, YUSU used funds from the Latte Levy to purchase a ballot box. Students and staff can discard their cigarette ends into the ballot box, choosing to either put it in the left hand side or the right hand side. Each side will represent an answer to a question of the YUSU team's choice and this could be a question about campus issues or something fun!

The 20p levy is ring-fenced for YORCUP and other sustainable initiatives carried out by the Commercial Services departments of YUSU's and the University of York
If you require further information please do not hesitate to contact Arnaud Rustan, Commercial Services Catering and Hospitality Operations Manager: