Campus News

UH Dining Services to start a new cashless, bagless initiative Jan. 1

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

University Dining Services has introduced a new plan to reduce environmental impact in partnership with the Student Government Association and the Food Service Advisory Committee. 

The Bagless/Cashless initiative aims to improve campus sustainability and efficiency through the elimination of disposable bags and cash transactions. 

 “These ideas came into discussion to ensure that sustainable efforts are continually advancing on the University campus,” said district marketing manager Alexcis Mendoza.

In an attempt to reduce the use of plastic bags on campus, market stores will be transitioning to reusable bags, paper bags and reusable straws, which will be available for purchase. 

“The Bagless Initiative began as a conversation brought up by SGA and the UH Food Service Advisory Committee,” Mendoza said. “Guests are welcome to bring their reusable bags, or have the option to purchase one at the Market locations.”

Although the program was promoted through the on-campus digital screens across campus, not many students know about these new initiatives. Regardless, students seemed to have a positive response. The idea of increasing the use of reusable bags and straws seemed to interest them. 

“​​While I’m not sure how much money or energy goes into making the switch, it’ll benefit vendors and waste management with recycling,” said accounting sophomore Samuel Torres.

However, students still feel unsure about the success of the Bagless Initiative since reusable bags and straws must be purchased.

“I think promoting reusable bags is awesome! However, I don’t feel like a lot of people would purchase these considering we get free usable bags,” said marketing junior Diamonte Franklin. “If they are reasonably priced then maybe — but most of us are college students and broke.” 

As opposed to the Bagless Initiative, students had conflicting opinions regarding the needs and requirements of the cashless initiative.

“I believe they should have put thought elsewhere,” Franklin said. “They should be focusing on the quality of food rather than something so minimal.” 

However, this initiative will streamline the payment process and keep the payments consistent across all locations,  Torres said.  Credit and debit cards, Cougar Cash, ShastaBucks, Google Pay and Apple Pay will all be acceptable payment methods moving forward. 

For guests who have only cash, a ‘Ready Credit’ reverse ATM will be installed in Student Center South which will enable them to convert cash to a debit card within seconds at no charge. 

According to Mendoza, UH Dining will continue communicating throughout the semester and winter break to create more awareness about these upcoming changes. 

The initiative will begin Jan. 1, 2024. 

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