August 1, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
London, ON – In September 2018, Brescia University College will welcome its close to 1,500 students back to a campus free of plastic straws. The University will eliminate single-use plastic straws from its campus for the new school year – a change which Brescia predicts will eliminate more than 25,000 plastic straws per year.
“Since our founding in 1919, the Ursuline Sisters prioritized the preservation and conservation of our natural world,” says Tim D’Souza, Manager of Food Services at Brescia. “Almost one hundred years later, we are proud to build upon their mission and to work towards a more sustainable future for our students and our community.”
In efforts to promote a more environmentally-conscious campus, beginning in June 2018, the University began to phase out plastic straws by offering its community an option of paper straws. The biodegradable straws, which will soon become standard campus-wide, and will last three hours in a cold drink, will naturally biodegrade within the environment in three to four months.
Samantha Yang, who is a recent graduate of Brescia’s Food & Nutritional Sciences Program and will be studying to obtain a Master’s in Public Health Promotion this coming fall, is thrilled that Brescia is moving the needle on environmental sustainability on campus, saying, “As a new alumna, I am so proud to see that Brescia is taking a lead in reducing plastic straws from its campus.” She goes on to say, “I believe the topic of food and ecological sustainability will only become more important in the future, so it’s wonderful to see Brescia participating in these fullsome discussions early.”
The elimination of plastic straws is just one of the many tactics the University has employed to reduce their environmental footprint. In January 2017, Brescia launched the Brescia Eco-container Exchange (B.E.E.) Take-out Container Program. Designed to limit the waste of single-use food containers, the B.E.E. Program encouraged members of the community to purchase eco-friendly containers, which could be returned, cleaned and reused through Brescia Food Services.
D’Souza adds, “As a socially-engaged community, we recognize that although eliminating plastic straws is an important step, it is still only one small piece of a larger issue, and that for some students paper straws may not be an option due to specific circumstances so we will make exceptions where needed.” He goes onto say, “We do, however, look forward to continuing to engage in these vital discussions around sustainability and finding new and innovative ways to contribute to these types of tangible initiatives.”
Above: Brescia Food & Nutritional Sciences alumna Samantha Yang highlights Brescia’s new biodegradable straws
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Brescia University College, Canada’s women’s university college, is affiliated with Western University. The 1,500 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in the Schools of Behavioural & Social Sciences, Food & Nutritional Sciences, Humanities and Leadership & Social Change in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic University College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity.