Choose to Reuse

Choose to Reuse today! Ask your retailer for a reusable plate, bowl, mug or cutlery set the next time you buy a drink or meal from any retailer in the Student Precinct. All used dishes are washed in an industrial dishwasher, so you can rest assured all reusable items are clean, sanitised and safe to enjoy your lunch from – while reducing your waste to landfill!

Reduce the impact of your lunch with the reusable dish service, the Choose to Reuse Plate Program. Simply ask your retailer to serve your meal on a reusable item when ordering from the Student Precinct on the Parkville campus. Feel good knowing you've cut down on single-use waste.


How to use the service

  1. Ask your retailer to serve your meal or drink on a reusable dish when you order – all Student Pavilion retailers have bowls, plates or mugs in stock as well as cutlery.
  2. Purchase and enjoy your waste-free meal or drink.
  3. Scrape your plate of leftover food into an organics bin. Only food can go into these bins – all other rubbish must go into either the recycling or landfill bins provided. Visit food organics to find out which organics items are accepted.
  4. Drop off your used dishes at a drop off station, located at recycling, landfill and organics bins in the Student Pavilion and Doug McDonell.

That's it! Your dishes will be collected and washed by our cleaning team and retailers, ready for the next customer.

By requesting a reusable dish from your food retailer you are helping the University to reduce our collective waste to landfill.


Reuse to stop waste at the source

Did you know that in Australia we throw away approximately 1.9 million tonnes of packaging every year?

For the University of Melbourne to be a leader in sustainable practice we have a target of reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill to 10kg per person by 2025. Our previous goal, of reducing waste to 20kg per person, was met in 2020. This achievement was assisted by the Choose to Reuse Plate Program and staff and students choosing reusables over single-use packaging.

Every plastic take-away container you’ve ever used still exists. Imagine how many more you could prevent adding to that number if you never used another, starting today.


  • No need to carry around your own container
  • No need to wash your own dishes
  • No contribution to waste
  • You can even take your dish away from the Student Precinct and return it on your next visit.

Please remember to return dishes when choosing to reuse. The continual operation of this service relies on the goodwill of our students and staff.

Book the events kit

The Choose to Reuse Events Kit can reduce waste at your next University of Melbourne event by providing reusable items instead of disposable food and drink packaging. The service is available to staff and student clubs organising events at the Parkville campus for a small hire and washing fee.

For all events, it is necessary to book items at least two weeks in advance.


Booking costs

The University supports the reduction of waste by providing this service, however a hire and cleaning fee will be charged to ensure its continuation. Cost will depend on:

  • Number of items required
  • Time required to pack, wash and store the re-use items

Complete the hire form to receive an accurate quote. Please read the terms and conditions before booking.

Please note that this kit can accommodate a maximum of 100 attendees.  If you expect more than 100 attendees at your event, please contact us at We will determine if we can accomodate for your request.

  • Terms and conditions
    • This service is available to  University of Melbourne staff and student clubs only.
    • All requests must be submitted via the booking form at least 2 weeks prior to the event date.
    • Costs will apply for excessive loss/breakages, or if additional time is reasonably required. E.g. not returning crockery on time, excessively dirty, etc.
    • If an approved request is cancelled less than five business days prior to the activity/event date, costs may be incurred.
    • There is no drop-off and collection service for any event. All items must be collected and returned by the hirer to Arts and Culture.
    • Items can only be collected/returned between 9am and 5pm Monday-Friday.
    • Limits to the number of items may apply based on demand and availability.
    • The kit can accommodate a maximum of 100 attendees.
    • There will be a charge if items a lost or damaged after an event.
    • We reserve the right to not provide the service if operational requirements prevent facilitation e.g. trained cleaning staff are unavailable, event is too large to cater for.