The final straw has yet to be used in UNH dining halls, but they’re getting there. In September, Hospitality Services announced that all of the university’s food service operations, including cafes and retail stores, would no longer offer plastic drinking straws to customers. Instead they would use cups that have a lid you can sip from.
The move aligns with both dining’s and the university’s sustainability efforts. What’s more, a sample taken of students reflected support for the idea. While describing the initiative as “still in its infancy,” William McNamara, executive director of hospitality services, says the measure speaks to the desire to find affordable solutions to sustainability issues.
“If each person only used and recycled the new lid without a straw, we would reduce our waste by approximately 150,000 lids and straws each year,” McNamara says. “In terms of money, this move is expected to be cost-neutral. The real savings is in our sustainable efforts, including the reduction of waste brought to the landfills and potentially, the oceans.”
Straws are available at all UNH dining locations upon request.