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Thursday, Sep 06, 2018 at 5:38 pm

Dining Halls Remove Straws

By Landon Wexler – Syracuse, N.Y. (CitrusTV) – Syracuse University Food Services has removed straws from its dining halls in the wake of major corporations getting national publicity for doing the same.  

The directors of SU Food Services say action was taken for environmental purposes.

In recent months, companies like Starbucks, American Airlines and Hilton Hotels have removed plastic straws to reduce global pollution.  

Director of Food Services Mark Tewksbury says they are following these footsteps for the same reason. He spoke with an employee of the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency and learned straws are becoming an issue.  

“We’re finding straws in our compost so due to that connection, we knew we were causing problems with the compost,” Tewksbury said.

Concerns of the campus-wide straw removal from dining halls come from students who feel they need a straw.  Tewksbury put these concerns to rest and says Food Services has thousands of straws for those students.

“In my thirty-eight years here at S-U, I think we’ve encountered five students with their jaw wired shut so I think we can handle it,” he joked.

An increase in media coverage on straw removal was not the only influence Syracuse University’s Food Services had to spark the change – they are part of the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS).  

NACUFS works with other schools across the United States to determine ways to innovate the way schools feed students.

Steve Brandt, the manager of Ernie Davis and Shaw Dining Halls, says SU continuously works with NACUFS to find more efficient, sustainable, environmentally friendly packaging items, as well as new menu items.

Straws are 0.03 percent of the world’s plastic waste by mass, according to Bloomberg News. Food Services is taking a step forward to help Orange students go green and reduce global plastic waste.