Sipping your favourite drink with a plastic straw could be a thing of the past in Prince George.
UNBC’s Interim Sustainability Manager is hoping this comes to fruition as she has asked students if they would support a campus-wide or city-wide plan on plastic straws.
Plastic has become a hot topic around the world in recent years as over 8-million tonnes of plastic is found in our oceans each year – and it’s only going to get worse.
Maria Mercer would love to see the university join other institutions who have already followed suit.
“I would love to see this become a more widespread trend some other universities are already starting to do this, businesses are getting on board and we’re also seeing conversations at the governmental level – it’s a ball that’s rolling and I would love to see the university get on board.”
The discussion around plastic has reached the federal level as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be going public on this issue at the G-7 Summit – it’s pretty safe to say the ball is rolling down the hill on this subject.
A couple of local establishments have already phased out the product.
Mercer adds consumers will have options when it comes to straws even without plastic.
“There are alternatives out there with paper and cardboard straws that can be used instead, some drinks might just not need straws and it’s a great first step on single-use plastics as well.”
“It’s not just about the disposal of plastic, it’s also about the entire lifecycle from raw material to extraction to production and transportation and there are carbon emissions involved in every single step as well.”
Mercer believes the school and the rest of the country should have acted sooner on this and believes the area can easily achieve the change.
UNBC currently has a Borrow a Mug program where students who go to any coffee shops on-campus can opt to use a reusable ceramic mug instead of a more disposable paper coffee cup.