AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS – Evan McDaid entered Blue Wall, a dining common at the University of Massachusetts looking for a meal to-go on his way home from class. McDaid approached the sushi line and ordered his meal, but when he completed his transaction at the counter, he was confused as to why he had not been given the traditional paper to-go cup.
As part of a new sustainability initiative, the student government association (SGA) has teamed up with UMass Dining to limit the amount of non-renewable products used by students and faculty. With this initiative, Blue Wall has urged consumers to use their reusable cups opposed to their paper cups and plastic straws and covers.
SGA Secretary of Sustainability Ainsley Brosnan-Smith was a leader in this initiative, acknowledging a change had to be made in order to live up to the University’s reputation as a leader in sustainability.
“We went to a zero waste conference and thought this would be a great idea,” Brosnan-Smith said. “As part of a larger worldwide movement, we want to reduce the temptation to use these harmful materials and propel people forward to think about how they’re affecting the environment.”
A Blue Wall manager agreed, saying the initiative has cut down use of paper and plastic significantly since it began this semester. They also noted although the dining common encourages students to use reusable bottles or cups, the paper option is still available to students who ask.