Salisbury University replaced its biodegradable take out box policy for a new reusable green box in the spring of 2021.
The change was a joint project between the SU dining services and the SGA. Dining services found the resources to retrofit their business while SGA acquired the funding, assistant director of commons dining, Mark Andrews said.
The SGA submitted an application to the green fund, a pool of money accumulated from student fees dedicated to sustainability initiatives on campus, SGA director of sustainability, Madison Cuthbert said.
Cuthbert believes the new policy has decreased SU’s single use waste. SU estimated that it would need 250,000 disposable containers in one semester and has used approximately 1,915 reusable containers instead, she said.
“For the campus itself it really reduced the single use waste we were producing because there was a high demand for those to-go containers and it was a very popular program,” Cuthbert said.
The original biodegradable boxes did not require an additional charge, though the new reusable box program is one students can opt into for a $10 fee.
Andrews said SU wants to keep both the unlimited meal plan and the to-go boxes available, yet in order to do so there needs to be some rules.
Students can exchange used boxes for a token to be used later or for a clean box to be used right away. Yet students are asked to either take the token and sit down for a meal or take a box and pack a meal to go.
“We want you to utilize your unlimited meal plans as much as you want,” Andrews said. “For us, we just want to make sure we’re capturing that swipe so we know how many meals and how many patrons we serve that day.”
By NATHANAEL MILLER
Video reporting courtesy of Nathanael Miller