By Jason Walko, junior marketing major from Wyano, Pennsylvania
LATROBE, PA – Plastic waste is one of the largest problems modern society faces, posing a threat to ecosystems on both land and sea. Because of this, one student organization at Saint Vincent College is working to reduce the amount of plastic waste on campus.
Members of the Saint Vincent Environmental Awareness Club noticed the abundance of plastic cups used by the barista, cafeteria and Shack dining facilities on campus. Saint Vincent College already employs the use of plastic recycling bins on campus, but the club decided to take another step forward in reducing plastic waste on campus.
“Plastic waste has become an increasingly prevalent issue that is negatively impacting the environment, accumulating in our oceans and shores and harming wildlife,” said Casey Markle, a junior environmental science major and treasurer of the Environmental Awareness Club. “We recently released multi-purpose reusable cups…to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated from cups used in The Shack, cafeteria and barista.”
The club’s president, Nick Iacaruso, a senior environmental science major from Crofton, Maryland, helped to conceptualize and design the cups. Markle and Iacaruso, along with Maria Franey, a senior biochemistry major from Export, and Colleen Mauro, a junior finance major from Greensburg, coordinated the project and worked with other club members to bring their vision to life.
Markle believes that the new reusable cups will fit right in with campus culture, coinciding perfectly with the Benedictine values. “One of the values strongly cherished by the Saint Vincent College community is that of stewardship,” he says. “Reusable cups will reduce the amount of plastic waste produced and will ensure that we are taking a strong initiative to take better care of our planet.”
The cups are currently available for all to purchase at the Saint Vincent College Bookstore. In addition to the environmental benefit, students will also receive a discount from dining services when using the cup to purchase a drink at the Shack or barista facilities.
PHOTO: Casey Markle, treasurer of the Environmental Awareness Club at Saint Vincent College, presents his club’s new reusable cups as part of an effort to reduce plastic waste on campus.
YouTube: Saint Vincent College