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SFU reducing use of plastic straws, bottles and utensils

New program aims to limit environmental impacts
Banning plastic straws at festivals and other garbage-reduction efforts would reduce waste and the impact these events have on the environment without cutting out the fun of attending them.

Simon Fraser University is trying to reduce its impact on the environment by cutting down on single-use products, including plastic bottles, utensils and straws. 

The “Re-Use for Good” program, which will begin rolling out this September, was developed by a task force of students, staff and faculty members in consultation with the Centre for Accessible Learning, according to a press release. 

The school says it will sell reusable water bottles in vending machines and will map existing water refill stations and install new ones. 

Metal utensils will replace plastic and compostable items, and plastic straws will only be available to those with disabilities that necessitate them. The Mackenzie Café at SFU’s Burnaby Mountain campus also plans to launch a reusable container program. 

The school also plans to stop using plastic juice and pop bottles, wooden stir sticks and plastic cream and milk containers at its meetings and conferences. 

SFU’s bookstore will stop using plastic and paper bags, instead offering reusable canvas bags for $1. 

The program’s second phase, rolling out next year, “will address plastic water and pop bottles, single-use beverage cups and single-use coffee pods,” the press release says. 

"It’s admirable to see a big university working collaboratively to reduce its impact on our environment,” task force member Julian Loutsik said in the release. “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." 

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