Reducing the use of Disposable Products
in Food Outlets

Food services, under Mark Murdoch, has been one of the key partners in WATgreen. Since 1990 a "bring your own mug" program (called Lug-a-Mug) has been promoted on campus, particularly by Food Services. Special portable insulated mugs are sold by campus food outlets. This program is very successful (20,000 sold) and has reduced the use of styrofoam cups by Food Services from one million a year to 500,000. Some coffee shops and faculties have banned the use of disposable cups altogether. During 1992-1994 the feasibility of the elimination of styrofoam cups on campus was evaluated. Two substantial surveys of students, faculty, and staff revealed that over 80% of people would support such a ban. A "no disposal cup" day on campus was held in October 1993. A dinosaur, made up of the 3000 disposal cups used daily on campus, was displayed in the Campus Center (and featured in an article in Maclean's).

In the same vein, a first year engineering class examined ways of reducing the waste generated by canned beverages. The winning design was for an effective can crusher which fits directly on top of the giant blue recycle bins. Another suggestion was for the introduction of soda fountains in combination with the Lug-a-Mug programme. This has been implemented in most food outlets.

Projects are available either on the world wide web or in the Dana Porter (Arts) Library, Special Collections.

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Last updated: August 16, 2004 plc