UFV is dropping the bag – plastic bags, that is

Margaret Bollerup tries out the new paper bags that the Bookstore will be introducing, with the help of Colin Nicholl.

UFV is dropping the bag — plastic bags, that is.

The UFV Bag-be-Gone initiative will reduce the amount of plastic entering the waste stream by eliminating the purchase and distribution of single-use plastic bags, starting August 1, 2019.

This means that the UFV Bookstore will no longer offer single-use plastic bags to customers. Other departments will not offer single-use plastic bags as part of any promotion or activity.

The UFV Bookstore is bringing in durable, recyclable paper bags and will also offer re-useable bags to customers who spend more than $300 in one purchase.

“We are really trying as a university to do our part to reduce our impact on the environment,” notes UFV Energy Manager Blair McFarlane. “There are viable alternatives for carrying goods and with the cooperation of campus partners like the Bookstore we have identified some. By doing so we are joining dozens of post-secondary institutions and community organizations who have taken the step to move away from single-use plastics and reduce fossil-fuel use.”

Bookstore manager Jeff Thiessen is supportive of the initiative.

“We welcome the opportunity to partner with Sustainable UFV and the Facilities Management department on the initiative. It gives us a chance to demonstrate good corporate citizenship both at UFV and beyond.”

McFarlane notes that many campus departments have already made the shift. For example departments no longer distribute promotional items at orientation events in plastic bags.

“It’s a natural shift that is well underway in society in general, with the raised awareness of the negative impacts of single-use plastic items.”

One exception to the bag-elimination initiative is that in order to adhere to sanitation and health standards, UFV will continue to allow single-use plastic bags for the purposes of janitorial, food-service, and laboratory waste management. https://www.ufv.ca/sustainability/

The Bag-be-Gone initiative is led by SustainableUFV, working in partnership with the UFV Bookstore and other affected departments.

This is the latest initiative from SustainableUFV. Others have included awareness events such as Sweater Week and the Energy Challenge, the introduction of paper towel composting in washrooms, the reduction of single-use coffee cups and water bottles, and enhanced recycling options.

If you have any questions, please contact UFV Energy Manager Blair McFarlane at blair.mcfarlane@ufv.ca .

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