ASI initiates a straw-free campus

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ASI initiates a straw-free campus

Stephany Mejia, News Editor

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A new Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) initiative discourages student’s use of plastic straws.

During the month of February, ASI Sustainability Representative Kimberly Anderson helped create the Straw Free February campaign. Students were only given straws upon request along with a 10 cent charge.

“Plastic straws are not recyclable and end up in landfills or in our oceans; with 500 million plastic straws being thrown out everyday in America alone, plastic straws has caused a huge detriment to our environment,” said Anderson.

Anderson said the idea for the initiative came after doing beach clean-ups during her time as the president of the Ocean Conservation club.
“I knew that the CSUSM community should set a trend for sustainability and raise awareness about single-use plastic straws on campus.”

The initiative was possible with the support of the food service company, Sodexo. The company purchased 200 reusable straws as an ecofriendly alternative. Sodexo does not profit from the 10 cent charge per straw; It covers only the cost and shipping of the straws.

Signs and artwork are placed all around campus to raise awareness. Anderson said marine life is the theme and turtles are the face of the campaign since they are the most affected by plastics.

Anderson created a turtle made from single-use plastics, which is displayed in the Palm Court. A single plastic jellyfish is displayed at the food court to represent turtles confusing plastic bags for jellyfish.

Students are encouraged to ask themselves if they really need a plastic straw and to bring their own reusable straws.

Eco friendly alternatives could become available at CSUSM. “There are straws made from paper and biodegradable plastics created by corn or sugarcane,” said Anderson.

Anderson encourages students to take a survey about the Straw Free February campaign to show if students support the campaign or to
switch to eco friendly straws.

To participate in the survey visit https://goo.gl/forms/lD-N6RWhevX9Jf6PV2

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