Choose to Re-use for Good
Over 1 million single-use cups and plastic bottles are disposed of each year at SFU. Currently only around 11% of plastics are recycled in Canada and public concern is quickly growing about the impact of single-use products, especially plastics. SFU is spearheading change with the launch of Re-use for Good.
Re-use for Good is an SFU Zero-Waste initiative to implement and promote reusable alternatives to single-use plastics and disposable products (SUPPs). In building infrastructure for reusable alternatives, Re-use for Good is reducing the quantity of SUPPs where possible across all dining locations.
There are four parts to Re-use for Good
1. Improving campus infrastructure for reusables; like increasing waterbottle refill stations and adding more dishwashers;
2. Providing the community with more reusable alternatives; like GoGreen take-out boxes, converting to reusable cutlery, rescuing lost water bottles, and offering zero-waste catering and events services;
3. Raising awareness about the impacts of single-use plastics and products; through community-based consultation, and engagement events; and ultimately,
4. Reducing unnecessary single-use plastics and other disposables on all campuses.
Phase One (Fall 2019 Semester)
During the Fall Semester SFU is launching Re-use for Good by reducing unnecessary plastic utensils and straws, offering re-usable water bottles in vending machines, and introducing the GoGreen container exchange for take-out foods. SFU is also replacing plastic bags at the Bookstore & Spirit Shop with reusable ones and eliminating plastic for single-use signage.
An important note on accessibility
Re-Use for Good is a zero-waste initiative that understands the importance of building an inclusive program that comprehensively addresses the intersectionality of sustainability efforts.
This is of high importance because efforts to improve sustainability that ignore the existence of disabled people, is not environmentalism, but eco-ableism. Which is why Re-Use for Good has committed to not banning single use plastics, such as straws, but rather choosing to implement reusable alternatives like container programs, metal cutlery, and mugshare programs.
To ensure that Re-Use for Good continues to be inclusive the initiative works with, co-creates, and receives feedback from disabled and neurodiverse individuals and constituency groups to help provide a disability justice lens to initiatives and programs. This is an evolving process and we are always looking for ways to improve our programs and communications. Please email us if you have any recommendations.
What we're doing
Hired a paid student employee to liaise with disabled and neurodiverse individuals and constituency groups across SFU
Working with the SFSS to offer a variety of recommended reusable products free of charge to students who need them
Providing the recommended plastic bendable straws in Dining Services at a no questions asked request basis.
Strengthening our communications and language in an effort to raise awareness about building inclusive programs to our community members and external partners
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? Here are four requently asked questions about Re-use for Good. Click the button below to see a full list of frequently asked questions. Don't see your question? Please send any additional inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are some of the negative impacts of single-use plastics and products?
Single-use Plastics and Products (SUPPs) have serious impacts on our environment, marine species and even our own health. Over 1 million single-use cups and plastic bottles are disposed of each year at SFU with only around 11% of plastics being recycled in Canada. SUPPs also contribute to climate change because fossil fuels are consumed at nearly every stage of their lifecycle – extraction, production, transportation and disposal.
What infrastructure changes are being done to support this transition?
Re-use for Good is improving campus infrastructure for reusables by:
- Providing the community with more reusable alternatives to SUPPs like reusable straws and bags at the SFU Bookstore, GoGreen containers for take-out food and metal cutlery;
- Introducing wooden chopstick recycling bins in dining venues, supported by ChopValue;
- Selling empty, ready-to-use reusable beverage bottles in vending machines at a low cost;
- Offering zero waste catering and events services; and
- Increasing the number of water bottle refill stations and dishwashers.
How can I get involved with the project?
Re-use for Good is a collective effort whereby faculty, staff, students, food service operators and suppliers all play an active role within their departments and work areas to identify and reduce SUPPs at SFU. Start by identifying SUPPs that you use both at school, work and in your personal life. Either eliminate them or switch to reusable alternatives. Participate in reusable programs such as the GoGreen container program and click here to volunteer your time and/or feedback to Re-use for Good .
What other SUPPS does SFU plan to eliminate in the future?
From Fall 2019 to Fall 2020, the Re-use for Good initiative plans to address the following SUPPs:
- Plastic and paper bags
- Plastic bottles (water, juice, pop, etc.)
- Plastic takeout containers
- Single-use utensils
- Wood stir sticks
- Hot and cold beverage containers (coffee cups, etc.)
- Plastic milkers and creamers
- Single-use coffee pods
The Re-use for Good Taskforce will continue to investigate how to eliminate other SUPPs through ongoing stakeholder engagement and research.
GoGreen Container Program
GoGreen is a reuseable container program that helps reduce single-use plastics and products at Simon Fraser University. Launching as a pilot in September 2019, the program is an easy way for community members to enjoy take-out food on campus without the waste.
TumblerShare is a student-led mug share program designed to help SFU students and staff reduce the number of disposable coffee cups used on campus.
Meeting, Event and Conference Services (MECS) is striving to make all MECS events waste-free. MECS is eliminating most plastics including cutlery, water bottles, single-package creamers and replacing them with reuseable alternatives.
The Re-use for Good initiative is being coordinated by a taskforce of change-makers comprised of student, faculty and staff who are working together to plan and implement the initiative. This includes:
Everyone needs to be engaged to push positive change. Faculty, staff, students, food service operators and suppliers all need to play an active role within their departments and areas to identify, reduce and eliminate SUPPs at SFU.
Get engaged; learn more and give us your feedback about Re-use for Good by completing the feedback and volunteer form below or sending your comments to email@example.com.