NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.- Galbreath Dining and the Tub have been offering single-use plastic containers throughout the course of the semester. These containers have not been recycled so far this semester. One thing that Westminster has seen in the past to combat this overuse of plastic containers is the green container program.
The green container program became prominent starting last fall. In talks with the student in charge of the program, Julia Serbati, she was able to elaborate on what exactly the green container program is and how it works.
Serbati talked about how she saw all of the plastic waste being produced and got in contact with Sodexo Manager Jeff Creveling about possible solutions for the issue. After multiple long discussions and multiple failed ideas, the two came to the conclusion that the green containers would be the most logical solution.
“Before we left because of Corona, there were 197 people signed up in the green container program… There are more people this year but I haven’t accounted for those who graduated…At Galbreath alone, we are averaging 48 containers a day since the green container program started back up this semester on Sept. 28,”Serbati said.
The impact that the green container program has on cutting down on plastic waste is something that Westminster students take pride in. The green container program has grown with each week since it has been reinstalled. Serbati has hopes that it will continue to grow throughout the remainder of the semester.
The program has a simple and easy concept to follow. Pay a five-dollar deposit that will be returned at the end of the semester as long as the container is returned. Each day, put the container from the previous day in the bin to be sanitized and get a new container. The dirty containers are washed with the rest of the Sodexo dishes in an industrial dishwasher for the next days use.
To put into perspective, if 48 containers are used every day for a whole week, that eliminates waste from 336 single use containers. Over the course of a semester that is roughly 4,700 containers that are saved because of the reusable containers. These estimates are taking into account the current numbers; it could be saving more waste if the program continues to grow.
Like any new program, there are kinks to be worked out. Serbati talked about people forgetting their containers, making them unable to get a new one for that day. She also talked about making people aware that the containers are an option. The publicity of the containers has been less and less of an issue as word spreads around campus. In time the green container program will work out the inefficiencies like any other new program would.
The green container program is an initiative designed to reduce plastic waste on campus in the dining areas. When asked why he uses the green container sophomore Sam Scotford said, “It helps reduce plastic waste and saves the planet.”
Spreading the word around campus about the green containers for the remainder of this semester and the Spring is Serbati’s goal for the program.