North End Skips The Straw

Photo by Celeste Gigliotti.

Photo by Celeste Gigliotti.

 Perhaps you’ve seen the hashtag #StopSucking on your Twitter timeline or news about Starbucks replacing their trademark green straws with “sippy cup” lids from your favorite new source. And now, when you go to the North End Dining Hall to order a smoothie, you will get it with a paper straw. It’s a revolution. And Marist Dining just became a part of it.

The fight against plastic straws originated back in 2015, when a video went viral of a marine biologist extracting a plastic straw from the nostril of a sea turtle. The video inspired widespread outrage throughout the nation, and the crusade against plastic straws began. It was revealed that 500 million straws are used each day and that an estimated 8.3 billion straws pollute the world’s beaches.

This is why major corporations, cities, and now universities are taking the stand for our environment and switching to greener methods, such as paper straws. 

The paper straws at North End Dining are a new feature this year in addition to the recyclable smoothie cups and lids made from plants that already used. The switch to paper is in keeping with Sodexo’s “Better Tomorrow” initiative. The “Better Tomorrow 2025” plan was developed in accordance to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and is designed to use Sodexo’s position as an employer, a service provider and a corporate citizen to make a difference in the socioeconomic wellbeing of the community of which it’s a part.

“The paper straw transition allows Marist Dining to take part in more waste-conscious procedures and can make a big difference in the plastic waste produced on the Marist campus,” said Kate Cole, Marketing Coordinator of Marist Dining.

Marist Dining indicated that the introduction of these paper straws is just the beginning of a larger single-use disposables strategy that will be implemented company-wide in the coming months. It is, however, the first step in creating a more eco-friendly, conscientious dining environment at Marist College.

North End Dining debuted the paper straws at the beginning of the fall semester. The launch has gone over well, according to student feedback.

“The straws are really cute,” said Lana Canton ’19. “Plus, I’m saving the Earth. Can’t complain about that.”

Emma Tizzano ’21 also commented on the cause. “ I think it’s a fantastic idea. Paper straws are just better for the environment. I’m a big supporter,” she said. 

Marist Dining has indicated their satisfaction with the plan due to the duality of its success. According to staff, the switch to paper straws allow them to meet their environmental target, “but more importantly, it will go some way to reduce the impact plastic is having on the environment.”

Marist Dining is well on its way to making a big difference in the reduction of waste. So why #StopSucking when you can sip smart?

Celeste GigliottiComment