Dining Services Strive to Reduce Plastic Waste

Mr. Bing is a Chinese station that visits Kessel and is popular among students.

Alexis Nieman

Mr. Bing is a Chinese station that visits Kessel and is popular among students.

Alexis Nieman, Media Editor

As the dangers of climate change and global warming are becoming more and more prevalent, people everywhere are beginning to change their ways to become more environmentally conscious and reduce the amount of waste they produce. This year, all of the dining centers on campus have also taken that initiative. Kessel, Miller Mart, and Starbucks all have taken major steps to reduce the amount of plastic that the students use every day. 

According to Alfred Casella, the Senior Director of Dining Services at Pace Pleasantville, these changes have been a long time coming. 

“Chartwells tries to reduce as much post-consumer waste as possible. It only made sense to take this to the next level here at Pace Pleasantville,” Casella said. “With the Town of Pleasantville saying ‘no more plastic bags,’ I thought we should also be following this. If removing plastic straws and take-out containers can help with the Pace community carbon footprint then I am all for it.”

Some of the major changes to the dining services over the years have been the change from plastic containers at every food station in Kessel, to now only paper ones. Also this year, plastic straws have been completely gotten rid of and replaced with paper ones in every dining area on campus, as well as more environmentally friendly utensils items, including reusable bags. 

There is a global demand to go green, and we are seeing the conversation gets brought up every day even in our local community,” Casella said. “We decided morally it was the right decision to reduce our footprint. I felt that this year would be a great time to take this to the next level and replace plastic straws with high-quality paper ones. It only made sense to do away plastic create salad containers and use our compostable clamshells.”

It was the hope for the Dining Services staff that the student body would be receptive to the change this year. So far, there have been no complaints — a fact that Casella hopes won’t change. 

“For the most part students haven’t given any real strong push back. After using our new straws you will see that they are do not fall apart like other paper straws,” Casella said. “I think overall our student body knows that change to help our environment is necessary and there is no reason why Pace Pleasantville shouldn’t strive to start the change within.”

Turning Pace more eco-friendly won’t stop here; in the future, as more environmentally helpful products become available, Dining Services will continue to try to reduce Pace’s carbon footprint.

“Chartwells plans on bringing Dasani water cans to Pace once they get released later this year,” Casella said. “We also are in talks with our sushi provider to change their sushi trays over to more of a green alternative. We will continue to seek out practical alternatives to reduce plastic waste.”