UCSD Starbucks “Excited” to Participate in Plastic Straw Ban

Photo by Alex Moshensky.

Starbucks at UC San Diego’s Price Center will begin phasing out the use of plastic straws to align with the company plan to eliminate plastic straw use by 2020, announced July 9.

“We learned [on July 9] about Starbucks’ plan to go strawless and we are excited to hear they are moving this direction,” said Sharon Van Bruggen, director of UCSD University Centers. “From what we understand, it will be a phased process while Starbucks builds up inventory of their exclusive Strawless Lids…[W]e immediately reached out to our regional manager to request early participation.”

For UCSD University Centers, the elimination of plastic straws and other environmentally-harmful products is not a new idea.

“University Centers has been discussing straws and exploring reusable options to offer students,” Van Bruggen said. “Last March, we gave away reusable cups and straws at various student events, and we are researching alternatives such as metal straws to distribute in Fall Quarter.”

University Centers has a wide range of sustainability efforts, from energy and office practices to food, water, and recycling. Notable initiatives include establishing the Sustainability Resource Center in Price Center, requiring future vendors to avoid the use of plastic foam, and encouraging current vendors to use fair trade products. Some vendors, including Jamba Juice, Yogurt World, and Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill, have also long been selling compostable or recyclable containers. Other vendors, such as Starbucks, Subway, and Santorini Greek Island Grill, have already phased out the selling of plastic bottles.

UCSD has joined the University of California’s mission to become a zero-waste campus system by 2020 by “increasing sustainable, local, fair trade, and organic food purchased and served by campus food services providers,” according to University Centers’ website.

Anabel King is a Staff Writer for The Triton. You can follow her @anabelkingg.