Starting in September, Simon Fraser University will demonstrate its commitment to zero-waste solutions by acting to reduce and eliminate single-use plastics and products (SUPPs) across all three campuses.
The “Re-use for Good” initiative is a multi-phase action plan to raise awareness and work towards eliminating the most common SUPPs at SFU. The initiative grew out of a task force of student, staff and faculty change-makers. Led by the SFU Sustainability Office and Ancillary Services, the task force includes the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS), the Graduate Student Society (GSS) and Ban the Bottle student club. A further project goal is to involve students in experiential learning through class research and case studies.
“It’s admirable to see a big university working collaboratively to reduce its impact on our environment,” says task force member Julian Loutsik, SFSS’ environment representative. “SFU’s commitment to eliminating common single-use plastics and products is a huge step toward helping our environment, and this leadership will encourage other institutions to follow.”
Phase 1 of the SUPPs action plan this fall includes:
1. Adding reusable water bottles to campus vending machines
2. Mapping the location of existing water bottle refill stations and deciding where to strategically locate additional stations on campus.
3. Dining Services will:
a) Replace plastic and compostable utensils and stir sticks with metal flatware
b) Remove plastic straws, unless needed for accessibility reasons
c) Launch a reusable container program in Mackenzie Café
4. Meeting, Event, and Conference Services (MECS) will:
a) Replace plastic water bottles with reusable water jugs
b) Replace plastic juice and pop bottles with aluminum cans
c) Replace wooden stir sticks with metal spoons
d) Replace plastic creamers and milkers with reusable serving jugs
5. Other initiatives across the university include:
a) Eliminating plastic and paper bags at the SFU Bookstore and Spirit Shops, and introducing $1 reusable canvas bags upon request
b) Replacing single-use plastic signage with cardboard signage, and eliminating plastic shrink-wrap at Document Solutions.