No More Plastic Straws


Lehigh Dining has made extensive efforts to phase out plastic straws in its dining halls after learning that the campus was using approximately 50,000 plastic straws annually.

The move comes as more and more college campuses, restaurants and companies, such as Starbucks, join in a global effort in sustainability.

“Dining Services pledged to do their part to find a safer, eco-friendly alternative to help reduce the world’s plastic intake and to help keep our oceans safe,” said Jason Lenig,  director of retail dining at Sodexo.

Plastic is neither composable nor biodegradable, and can therefore stay in landfills and oceans for years. By the year 2050, Lenig says, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, with at least 5.25 trillion plastic particles currently floating in the ocean.

To help combat the problem of excessive plastic, Lehigh has shifted from plastic to eco-friendly paper straws that are chemical-free, BPA-free, toxic-free, FDA approved and compostable.

“Lehigh Dining wants to do the right thing and be a part of the solution,” said Lenig.

Story by Erin Hom

Photo by Christa Neu

Related Stories

Senior Helps Create a Greener Lehigh

Olivia Barz ’19 participates in multiple environmental and sustainable initiatives at Lehigh.

Great South Side Sale Organizers Hope to Top Last Year's Record-Setting Haul

Their hopes are bolstered by the largest inventory in two decades.

How can we provide clean water for everyone on Earth?

Of all the needs we humans share, none is as unifying as our need for safe drinking water.