Bama Dining to eliminate Styrofoam boxes

Emily Williams

This fall, students will no longer receive disposable Styrofoam takeout containers from dining halls.

In cooperation with an SGA resolution passed by last year’s senate, Bama Dining has decided to replace all Styrofoam containers with reusable to-go boxes starting Aug. 1.

(See also “Bama Dining’s leftover food used in UA Arboretum composts“)

Kelsey Faust, marketing manager for Bama Dining, said all incoming freshmen will receive free green to-go containers. Non-freshmen can purchase a box for a $5 deposit.

“When a student decides that they want a to-go meal from the dining hall, they will need to check out a to-go box with their Action Card,” Faust said. “When they are done with the to-go box, they can bring the dirty box back to one of our dining locations and check it back in with their Action Card or exchange it for a clean one. Students will not be responsible for cleaning their own to-go boxes.”

Faust said the new program will divert more than half a million Styrofoam containers from landfills. She said Styrofoam accounts for one third of campus landfill space.

Former SGA senator Jackson Britton authored the SGA resolution in support of Bama Dining’s Styrofoam free initiative. Britton said students currently use over 12,450 Styrofoam takeout boxes every week on campus.

“Styrofoam is the primary source of urban litter and the main pollutant of oceans, bays and other water systems in the United States, but there is no feasible way to recycle it,” Britton said. “Also, Styrofoam does not decompose and these take-out boxes take up an inexcusable amount of space within local land-fills.”

(See also “The Way of Our Water“)

Britton said SGA will work with Bama Dining and Auxiliary Services to facilitate the transition to reusable containers by raising awareness and offering incentives for students to use the to-go containers.

SGA President Hamilton Bloom said the initiative shows the SGA’s commitment to increasing sustainability in all facilities on campus.

“This initiative is a great compliment to the Recycle Bama program, which was incorporated into SGA last year,” he said. “I’m excited for this initiative. Our goal is to encourage a less-waste philosophy around campus and help promote good recycling habits.”

For more information on Bama Dining and their other sustainable programs, go online at

(See also “Dining halls strive to source food locally“)