Texas State is taking steps to save sea turtles one straw at a time.
Some may have noticed the recent change from plastic to paper straws in the dining halls. By using paper instead of plastic, Texas State is transitioning to an eco-friendly substitute.
The adjustment of going greener and changing various plastic products to paper has been a movement for the past few years. Different companies are offering the option to customers to exclude the use of straws or, like Starbucks, an alternative lid option. People are becoming more environmentally conscious by using reusable cups or containers.
Plastic is more difficult to decompose and ultimately ends up in landfills, creating more pollution in the air and the river. According to National Geographic, between 5.3 and 14 million tons of plastic waste each year end up in the ocean just from coastal regions alone. This causes nearly 700 marine animals, including endangered species, to be affected.
Steven Granados, director of Marketing and Guest Experience for the Texas State dining halls, said the shift to straws is a more sustainable approach.
“It was a motivation and decision to reduce the negative impact to the environment and take students feedback into account from surveys done on ways to make a better impact,” Granados said. “Although they are more expensive to produce, adding methods little by little to provide more items (is a) more holistic approach to creating a more sustainable dining program.”
Eunice Quiroz, wildlife biology freshman, said she appreciated the recent change.
“The fact (the straws) are biodegradable at least helps the environment,” Quiroz said. “I use them and think it’s a good way to go green.”
Kaitlyn Gonzales, exercise and sports science junior, likes the recent change because of the benefits for the environment.
“It’s a great small step toward helping the environment,” Gonzales said. “The feeling of drinking through them may not be so great sometimes, but the fact it’s a good change is worth it.”
Although the change has been met with positivity, there are some students who are not particularly fond of the new straw change.
Ty Thacker, political science freshman, does not necessarily like the idea of paper straws, but understands the reasoning behind the change.
“I don’t like the paper straws because they get soggy, so I just stopped using straws,” Thacker said. “It is making a difference using less plastic and (it is) more environmentally friendly.”
A majority of the dining halls have already made the transition with the exception of a few locations, The LBJ Food Lair and Einstein Bros. Bagels in The Den, as they are just trying to get rid of and use what is already there. The entire campus will soon make the transition to paper straws.