VANCOUVER -- The University of British Columbia is working to make single-use coffee cups and plastic cutlery a thing of the past – at least on its Vancouver campus.

Beginning in January, the university is forcing cafes and eateries charge a fee of at least 25 cents for single-use coffee cups to encourage students to start bringing reusable mugs instead.

A whopping 1.7 million single-use coffee cups and 2.3 million pieces of plastic cutlery were given out on campus in 2017 alone, according to UBC.

"As a long-standing leader in global sustainability, UBC has an opportunity to lead the region in reducing single-use items and to make an impact far beyond our community," Bud Fraser, UBC planning and sustainability engineer, said in a statement. "This is an important step toward a zero waste future for food and beverage on campus."

Restaurants and coffee shops will be able to determine how much they charge for cups, and what to do with the money they collect. None of the fees will go to the university.

Food retailers are also being asked to use more sustainable alternatives for other single-use items – offering wooden cutlery instead of plastic, for instance – and to stop using foam cups and plastic bags altogether.

The university is encouraging students to bring their own cutlery for dining to further cut down on waste.

The changes are part of UBC's Zero Waste Food Ware Strategy, which was approved in June. (LINK)