21st century composting

Starbucks is a big part of campus life. From cramming for exams to just needing a little pick me up, most of the students that live on campus have gone to Starbucks at least once or twice a week.

Regardless of the reason for the visit, the constant surplus of outgoing plastic cups and straws has always been a constant stressor for those concerned about what happens to our trash and what we are able to do to minimize the amount that goes to landfill.

Recently, Starbucks on campus has converted to completely compostable cups, lids and straws. While reusable cups are a more sustainable way of enjoying an iced pumpkin spice latte, swapping out plastics for compostable material is something everyone can get on board with.

This means the products now used are made completely of plant materials and can be processed by the Biodegradable Products Institute, where all of the compostable materials on campus go. Students were overjoyed to learn that they were able to be eco-friendly, while also enjoying their frappuccinos.

“I did know that Starbucks was introducing compostable cups. I received this information during RA training when one of the members of Aviands told us,” said fourth-year Jeniece Smiley. “It’s slightly more sustainable than having plastic cups – but will students, staff and visitors know how to compost these cups?”

“Finally, something is being done to help out this epidemic we’re being faced with, something small can make a huge difference. I’m so happy that CSUMB is taking initiative, I hope that this inspires students to do the same,” said freshman Delia Jimenez.

“I think it is awesome that Starbucks is making this change, especially since many recycling facilities do not accept coffee cups or lids,” said Carolyn Hinman, environmental outreach coordinator for GreenWaste Recovery. “The most important thing now is to spread the word and let people know that the cups with the BPI symbol need to go into the green cans. They won’t break down in the trash and they can’t be recycled, so it is important to dispose of them correctly.”

The conversion to compostable products allows students, like freshman Robert Garcia, to rest assured that they can still enjoy their drinks, while minimizing their impact. “Getting compostable cups from Starbucks makes me have a better state of mind as to knowing at the end of the day I am helping out the world and environment,” said Garcia.

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