TCD Plastic Solutions to pursue plastic-free Trinity Ball

Reusable coffee cups and a plastic ban in the library are also on the group’s agenda

TCD Plastic Solutions are reviewing the possibility of implementing a deposit scheme at Trinity Ball for single-use plastics. In an open meeting held by the group, manager of TCD Plastic Solutions, Caitríona de Búrca, outlined the challenges of holding a Trinity Ball completely free of single-use plastics.

She explained that impending contracts with sponsors MCD and Heineken “take quite a bit of time” in processing, and that the society needs to get the “ball rolling very soon” to continue their promotion of sustainability on campus.

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Ents Officer, David Flood, is currently advocating for a plastic-free Trinity Ball. Speaking to Trinity News, Flood outlined that promotion company MCD, the primary organisers of Trinity Ball, were receptive to the idea.

De Búrca suggested that it would be unlikely that event organisers would have enough reusable cups on time for all attendees. She discussed the practicality of a cup deposit scheme at Trinity Ball to accommodate Trinity’s plastic-free transitional period. She assured, however, that “in the future there will be no single-use plastics” at Trinity Ball.

TCD Plastic Solutions are also set to explore the implementation of a sustainable coffee cup scheme at The Buttery, Perch, and SU shops. The sustainable cups, termed “re-cups”, are “basically a hard plastic that can be washed”. If put into practice, the scheme would work on a basis of “bring a euro on campus and get a euro back”. Essentially, upon returning the “re-cup” after use, a sum of money would be returned to consumers.  

Other proposals to promote sustainability on campus include a vending machine plastic ban in the library, the implementation of compost bins, a plastic-free farmer’s market at Christmas, and the introduction of menstrual cups and reusable razors to the SU shop.

TCD Plastic Solutions is a student organisation seeking the elimination of single-use plastics in Trinity. Last year, the group successfully launched the #PlasticFreeTCD movement. After one year, the group’s work has led to the introduction of a single-use plastic ban on campus. By September 2019, Trinity is set to replace all plastic bottles on campus with more eco-friendly alternatives.

Last week, TCD Plastic Solutions collaborated with the Trinity Hall Junior Common Room (JCR) to hold recycling workshops for first year students living in Halls. The one-day informative program, which sought to tackle “the huge levels of contamination in the recycling bins of student accommodation”, was attended by over 200 Freshers.

Caroline Boyle

Caroline Boyle is a current Deputy News Editor of Trinity News. She is a Senior Fresh BESS student, and a former Senior Reporter.