The promotion of Lug-a-Mugs, reusable beverage containers, has been highly successful at the University of Waterloo. In the past 8 years, steps have been taken to reduce beverage container waste by almost 80% through the Lug-a-Mug program. We felt that further improvements could be made in this direction. As University of Waterloo students enrolled in ERS-285 "Greening the Campus," we investigated the Engineering Coffee and Donut Shop to determine why more students do not use Lug-a-Mugs, and what incentives would promote increased Lug-a-Mug use. We conducted a survey of first and fourth year Engineering students to find out what their opinions are on this subject. The following is an outline of the recommendations that resulted from our survey.
Customer Awareness - Through the survey, we found that improvements could be made by advertising price incentives, varieties of beverages offered in Lug-a-Mugs and the environmental implications of using disposable beverage containers.
Convenience Issues - The top reason for not using a Lug-a-Mug was inconvenience in terms of design (i.e. leakage). To remedy this, we propose a selection of various Lug-a-Mug designs that would appeal to a large group of customers.
Cold Beverage Dispensers - Another reason why students do not use Lug-a-Mugs was that cold beverages are only available in cans, plastic, and bottles. Due to time restraints, further investigation could not be done to the extent that we could fully recommend a beverage dispenser system. Before such a system is implemented we recommend that further study be carried out on this topic.
By educating patrons of the benefits of using a Lug-a-Mug, improving the design of Lug-a-Mugs, and exploring the use of dispensers, positive change can be made towards the reduction of disposable beverage containers on campus, thus promoting overall sustainability.
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Last updated: May 13, 1997