Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Sodexo temporarily scraps use of plastic in Samia

Caroline Enos

On Jan. 31, plastic containers and straws will be eliminated from 20 Somerset for the day in hopes of creating ecologically friendly practices on campus. The move is part of an effort by Student Government Association (SGA) and Sodexo to make its practices more sustainable.

Last semester, Suffolk student Madison Jolliemore started a petition to promote sustainability efforts in dining halls across campus. This petition has over a hundred signatures and is trying to push the idea of eliminating wasteful products.

Stephen Rykola, senator for the class of 2022 and member of the housing and facilities committee, worked with SGA and Sodexo push the idea behind the petition forward.

He said that being an intern with Sodexo helped him, along with SGA, change Sodexo’s current procedures.

“I had noticed the rise to ditch single-use plastic and the amount of plastic being used on campus,” said Rykola. “Especially being that a lot of the plastic we use isn’t recycled, because it is either thrown in the trash by students or is filled with food when thrown into the recycling bins. It is because of these things that it drove me to push for this change,”

According to research done by Columbia University, although the containers used within the Suffolk dining halls are PLA, or polylactic acid, biodegradable plastic, these plastics are only truly biodegradable in industrial sized composting facilities that heat the plastic to a specific temperature so that it has the ability to biodegradable. There are only 13 of these facilities in the U.S. and the majority of these plastics end up in landfills. Even if the compostable plastics are correctly composted most of the soil created from these plastics can harm crops grown in them.

Advertisements across campus have started to show the student body that Sodexo is “aware that our compostable plastics aren’t the best for the environment” according to their advertising, to show that they understand the recent complaints across campus regarding Suffolk’s Sustainability.

According to National Geographic, the “special” PLA, plastics also ruin batches of recycling when disposed of incorrectly and can be worse on the environment especially when incorrectly disposed of.

By educating the student body on the harmful effects of these products the SGA Sustainability Committee is hoping to gather a large student turn out to initiate this multi-step plan for eliminating single use plastics.

The chair of SGA’s sustainability committee, Gabriella Soto, commented on the impact of student body working together and making a statement about the practices across campus.

“I think the Greener Sodexo is an exciting initiative and we as students can take part in ensuring that it makes a statement, we care about this. I implore everyone to consume Sodexo that day to send a united message and let both Sodexo and the administration know that this is an issue that’s important to us”

Stephen Rykola also commented on the next few steps regarding the Greener Sodexo plan. This program is just the beginning of a multi-step plan in improving Suffolk’s sustainability. Replacing these single use containers in the future will be reusable plastic retainers that each student across campus would be able to bring and have filled at dining halls.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Dani Webber
Dani Webber, News Editor | they/them
Daniel is a junior pre-law major with a journalism minor at Suffolk University. When they aren’t writing, you can find them walking on the beach, thrifting or watching the dogs play in Boston Common. In the future, they hope to be a paralegal and author. Follow Dani on Twitter @MolWebber Email them at [email protected]
Caroline Enos
Caroline Enos, Editor-in-Chief | she/her
Caroline is a senior from Gloucester, Mass. She is majoring in print/web journalism and minoring in political science. Caroline was formerly a news editor for The Journal, is currently a correspondent at the Boston Globe and was also a correspondent at The Gloucester Daily Times. When she isn't stressing over deadlines, Caroline spends her time drawing and listening to good music. Follow Caroline on Twitter @CarolineEnos Email her at [email protected]

Comments (1)

All The Suffolk Journal Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • K

    Kyle CrozierFeb 7, 2020 at 4:59 am

    An interesting concession for Sodexo for sure. All that student work and activism just to get one single solitary day with no plastic in one of the dining halls. If they don’t plan to do this again, I’d write another story about it!

Activate Search
Sodexo temporarily scraps use of plastic in Samia