By Christine Boynton, Commentary Co-Editor
If you’re sick of breaking the plastic tongs of your fork with salad bar carrots, join the club, or perhaps the committee.
T h e EAC (Environmental Action Committee) is taking a stand against the waste of paper products we’ve been witnessing in Glar. Currently we’re using roughly $5,000 in paper products—a month.
The culprit? A 25 year-old dishwasher in dire need of replacement.
“The amount of waste and Styrofoam? being produced by a broken dishwasher is atrocious,” said Connor Rasmussen, EAC president.
According to his source, the college will need to shell out $80,000 to replace the industrial strength dishwasher—a pretty hefty investment.
However, it’s not so much the price that the EAC is concerned with but the environmental impact that the non-degradable polystyrene (more commonly known as Styrofoam?) will have.
According to the Environmental Literary Council, “Although paper accounts for most of the trash in landfills by volume, plastics account for 25% of all waste in landfills when buried.”
The EAC would like to encourage students not to use as much plastic and polystyrene when eating meals in Glar. Do you really need an entire separate plate for that toasted bagel, or could it fit on the plate with your eggs and bacon? While deciding, consider this: “A single Styrofoam cup can take up to 500 years to fully disintegrate,” according to a study cited by a New York Assembly environmental conservation bill.
In the past, McDaniel students have witnessed a few attempts at installing biodegradable plates, which briefly appeared in the Pub. However, after a few trials, the plates were found to melt straight through when used for hot food.
Other environmentally friendly options have been explored, but so far have proven far too expensive. One such solution found the cost of an individual fork rising from one cent to five cents.
In order to stop the waste of paper products, Rasmussen said, “Glar needs to be on washable, reusable dishware.”
So far, the EAC has made signs advising students to use fewer paper products during meals. They plan to hang them above silverware bins in the cafeteria.
Their ultimate goal? “To have the campus policies be green policies,” explained Rasmussen. “Students rallying against paper products could really make a difference.”