OPINION: DSU needs to limit single-use containers of campus

It is time for Dixie State University to switch from its use of single-use plastics, Samantha Ortiz says. Students can help out by bringing their own reusable containers, bottles, straws and bags. Graphic by Samantha Ortiz.

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Dixie State University should limit the use of foam and single-use containers and enforce better biodegradable options for students.

Foam is a non-biodegradable material that stays in the environment for hundreds of years. It breaks down into small particles that later pollute our water and harm animals that consume them.

Walking around campus, you can spot students with foam cups from the Market or Brooks’ Stop in their hands.

I always make sure I have my reusable bottle with me and I can fill it up at any of the water fountains located on campus.

Using a reusable bottle can help by reducing the plastic intake and reducing emissions.

Tracey O’Kelly, Library Paraprofessional and Sustainability Committee Chair said dining services has been working on getting rid of some foam containers and single-use plastics, but a previous Dining Services manager purchased a very large quantity to get the price break of foam cups and containers. In order to introduce new options that are more environmentally friendly, the last of the previous order had to be used up.

While there is some work going toward making this campus more sustainable, it can’t all be left to the university. Students can help reduce the use of single-use containers by not getting them at all and asking for alternatives. 

When it comes to drinks, DSU offers reusable cups that can be filled up at The Market or at Brooks’ Stop students just have to remember to bring it along with them. Using single-use containers isn’t always avoidable, but reusing your foam cup once or twice can help the waste of non-biodegradable containers. 

O’Kelly said DSU used to offer biodegradable straws, but students complained about the after taste, so plastic straws were brought back. 

Instead of drinking from a single-use straw, students can skip that step altogether or use a reusable straw. This would leave you without the aftertaste and without the extra use of plastic.

As DSU is slowly working toward becoming more environmentally friendly, students can help the process of becoming more sustainable by limiting our intake of single-use containers. Bringing your own reusable containers, bottles, straws and bags is one way of helping out.