Just had a meeting with all the canteen operators in the Main Campus to brief them on this follow-up to The White Coffin in our effort to green the campus. And this is what we told them :
- Don't give out the thin plastic carry bag too freely. In fact, they should tell their clients that it is now policy not to give out the bags. But they still have discretion - I told them to use their judge when it is appropriate to provide their clients with a plastic bag. Meanwhile, we have talked to a manufacturer this morning and will be making cloth bags for sale and distribution on campus.
- Plastic bags and plastic sheets for wrapping food and keeping drinks and curry will no longer be allowed. The earlier policy is being reinforced. Eat and drink at the canteen. If the customers want to takeaway, bring own food container or tumbler (or mug). For drinks, if customer don't have a tumbler, then we will allow the use of PP (Polyprolene) plastic cups which can be reused and recycled. Paper cup is the last option.
- Straws are also discouraged. They should not be given out freely.
- Mineral water or drinking water in plastic bottles can still be sold. But it will not be distributed at USM events and meetings.
If you want to know more, you can download the PDF files from the Health Campus website (look under Publication).
Meanwhile we have been engaging the campus community on their views on our effort to reduce plastics in USM. Up to this moment we have distributed a very simple questionnaire to 32 staff (during our green office briefing with the USM Library) and about 200 new students (as at 2 July 2008). You will see diverse opinions on the issues raised. We will continue to engage the campus community in meaningful dialogue leading to a change to a sustainable lifestyle. (click on the image for the larger version)
If you have an opinion, suggestion, comment, you are welcome to leave them on this blog.