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Soton student launches petition against dissertation printing to save the trees

He says it’s pointless

A Soton student has started a petition to try and get the University to ban the printing of dissertations.

Politics student Alistair says it's an unnecessary waste of paper, putting more pressure on a planet already feeling the negative effects of climate change.

While some dissertations can be submitted online, other subjects require students to hand in two printed and bound copies of their diss.

There are approximately 25,000 students studying at the University of Southampton, and Alistair estimates a combined 10,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students are writing dissertations or theses each year. Assuming each one is 50 pages long and two copies must be handed in, that makes a total of roughly one million pages.

Alistair argues: "One pine tree can yield 80,000 pages of A4 paper, so this would waste 12.5 trees per year".

He suggests if these numbers were extrapolated for more universities, a huge number trees would be "unnecessarily" cut down to provide the paper for all of this.

The University has already made changes to become more environmentally friendly, and has encouraged students to help the environment. However, Alistair says that's not enough, and that the University must get on board with the banning of dissertation printing.

As it stands, dissertations that have to be physically handed in must be completed a couple of days before the actual deadline to allow for printing and binding time.

Printing a 50-page dissertation written in black and white costs £7.50 from the University printing service which is roughly the cost of an entire Sobar Tuesday, two meal deals, or that new top you've been wanting from ASOS.

If this sounds like money you don't want to spend and trees you don't want to chop down, then sign Alistair's petition here.

Another eco-friendly petition to make Ecosia the default search engine on the University's computers gained over 200 signatures last week. The search engine promises to use the money raised through advertising to plant trees – over 55 million are said to have already been planted.