University of Maryland Dining Services is launching a campaign to encourage students to eat in the dining halls in order to reduce the waste created by carry-out containers, reports the Diamondback campus paper. The Eat IN-itiative is part of a wider campus-wide environmental initiative that seeks the elimination of non-biodegradable foam containers.
According to sources quoted by the Diamondback, more than 464,000 take-out containers, or about 66 containers per resident student, were used last semester. Eat IN-itiative aims to reduce that by 15 percent in the spring term. The department has switched to a biodegradeable take-out container made from sugarcane, but the products are three times the cost of the previous, standard containers and have to be returned to the dining halls for sorting if they are to avoid ending up in landfills.