Bama Dining reduces foam wasteBy Sirui Shao | 10/13/2014 10:14am
Campus dining halls no longer use polystyrene containers, and dining hall consumers who wish to use a to-go option will have to purchase a reusable container.
According to the Earth Resource, the biggest environment health concern associated with polystyrene is the danger associated with Styrene, the basic building block of polystyrene. In addition, polystyrene production was facilitated by the use of chlorofluorocarbons, the chemicals that break down ozone in the troposphere. Even though polystyrene can be recycled, the market is small and shrinking.
Bama Dining partnered with the SGA to go foam free to contribute to better surroundings for the community.
This foam free movement is to help the campus be more environmentally conscious and reduce the amount of polystyrene in landfills. This sustainability measure keeps more than 1,500 pounds of waste from landfills each week.
“Bama Dining is always searching for ways to become more sustainable across campus,” said Rachel Barwick, the marketing coordinator for Bama Dining. “In the past, we’ve gone trayless in our dining halls, we offer sustainable mugs or tumblers and we use bleach-free and recycled napkins, to name a few.”
Barwick said it has been very successful, and people are excited to be a part of an effort to keep the campus greener.
According to the Bama Dining website, the new to-go option has four easy steps. First, visit any dining hall location and swipe your ACT card to receive your to-go box. Second, fill up your to-go box with food. Third, return it to the cashier at any of the designated Bama Dining registers when finished. The last step is to have the cashier swipe your ACT card to credit your box back to your account, and on your next visit you will receive a clean to-go box.
“I think it is easy and convenient for me to take a to-go box instead of waiting for a long line,” said Jordan Maynard, a freshman majoring in psychology. “But I do not know the details about the returning process.”
Porscha Alonzo, a senior majoring in early childhood development, said she usually takes a to-go box at Bama Dining.
“It’s clearly showing the University starts to care about the environment and showing us they are reducing pollution, which is very good,” she said.
Despite this, she said she is still confused about certain procedures concerning going foam free, such as returning and cleaning the boxes and why students cannot keep them or use their own containers.
Bama Dining reported they haven’t had an influx of to-go meals, but they have not seen them drop either.
“We are happy to say that we have had very little problem with the new system,” Barwick said. “We are running pretty equal with what we did before. This is what we expected.”