In preparation for AUS' single-use plastic ban (to come into full effect next January), the university has hosted its first plastic-free event. A staff potluck lunch on September 19, organized by the All Hands Committee, was a plastic-free affair. The event, which sees staff prepare and share food from their home countries with their colleagues, was a great opportunity to trial AUS' move to eradicating single-use plastic on campus. The 200 staff in attendance used plant-based bowls, plates and cutlery, provided by the Sharjah Co-op located on campus. Attendees were encouraged to use the multiple water dispensers available, with raffle prizes as an added incentive. AUS Sustainability handed out 80 metal insulated water bottles. The bottles are still available from the AUS Sustainability Office, located in Office M240, Second Floor, Main Building.

Rose Armour, AUS Head of Sustainability, says:

"Plastic has provide consumers the ease and convenience of living a more portable lifestyle; one can grab a plastic bottle of water and lunch to go without a second thought. But the waste from that 15-minute lunch break could last 150 years. As the challenges of plastic waste gets more media attention, consumers are starting to rethink the grab-and-go lifestyle. AUS wants to be a leader in changing how students, staff and faculty think about the waste they are creating. Each resident in the UAE generates on average 2.2 kilos of waste a day, making it one of the highest waste producers in the world. We have the opportunity to create new behaviors and norms at AUS. We are striving to create students, staff, and faculty with strong sustainability values and hope they take these ideas and values with them wherever they go."

For more information about sustainability at AUS, please visit