RIT is getting greener with the elimination of plastic bags, plastic straws, and plastic stirrers.
Effective January 31, 2020, plastic bags, plastic straws, and plastic stirrers have been removed from service at RIT Dining locations. Paper bags and paper straws are available upon request only at cash registers. Wood stirrers will be readily available. Due to the change, 413,500 plastic straws, 140,000 plastic stirrers, and 324,000 plastic bags are expected to be diverted from landfills each year. This initiative comes as RIT Dining makes efforts to make a bigger impact environmentally.
Join us as we make efforts to Ditch the Disposables and help reduce waste from 14,700 daily meals! We encourage customers to switch to reusable items such as bags, straws, utensils, mugs, bottles, and containers.
- Reusable straws are available for purchase at multiple locations across campus.
- Reusable bags and other tools will be available for purchase in the future.
- Ozzi reusable containers are available at Brick City Cafe and Gracie's. The Ozzi system eliminates the need for disposable to-go containers and eliminates 94,000 disposable to-go containers per year at RIT.
Frequently Asked Questions
What locations does this change affect?
This change affects all owned and operated RIT Dining locations. Java Wally's and Nathan's Soup & Salad are excluded. Locations that serve Starbucks Coffee, Midnight Oil and The College Grind, are currently excluded. For more details on exclusions, see the next FAQ.
What exclusions are there?
At the moment, locations that serve Starbucks Coffee (Midnight Oil and The College Grind) are excluded from the plastic stirrer and straw ban. We are working with our Starbucks partner to source new straws in alignment with Starbucks brand requirements. Plastic straws for Bubble Tea at The Market at Global Village will not be removed until a replacement is found.
Will plastic straws still be available for those with disabilities?
Yes, there will be a small inventory of plastic straws available at the cash register for those who need plastic instead of paper.
Why do I have to request paper straws and paper bags?
Paper bags and straws are still a single-use, disposable item. Paper production has an environmental impact. In an effort to move away from all disposables, we've instituted a policy where paper straws and paper bags are available upon request only. We encourage our customers to use reusable products and move away from single-use products.
When will other plastics be removed?
There are no immediate plans to replace plastic spoons, forks, and knives on campus, but alternatives are being researched.
Why use paper straws instead of other compostable products?
After testing multiple products and consulting RIT Sustainability, paper straws were chosen as the most environmentally-friendly straw option among available products. Paper straws break down quickly and are compostable.