University Store goes ‘bagless’
As the third week of the spring semester begins and students finish most of their textbook purchases, the University Store will no longer automatically provide customers with a bag for their purchases.
The initiative, which began Feb. 13, is the result of a Student Government Association resolution passed last semester. University Store employees will assume that customers do not need a bag unless specifically requested.
“It’s a great idea. Besides buying books, bags are often an inconvenience and just another thing to have to throw away,” junior sports management major Ashley Nalley said. “As long as bags are still a choice when needed, then I can’t imagine why the initiative wouldn’t receive only positive feedback.”
According to Director of the University Store Stacy Elofir, roughly five to six thousand customers visit the University Store each day during the business season.
“Last year, the University Store went bagless for two weeks with little trouble or complaint from our customers,” Elofir said. “We offered inexpensive reusable bags and we were pretty proud of ourselves. But is two weeks enough of a commitment to make a difference?”
Inspired by countless success stories from across the country, the SGA took their plan campus wide in the form of a survey. After gathering responses from 511 students, the results positively upheld the initiatives’ plan and mission.
According to the SGA, the survey results yielded three specific responses from students. There were 88.2 percent who supported possibly removing bags (57.9 percent said “yes,” 30.3 percent said “depending on the plan”); 66.9 percent were in support of complete removal of bags; and 74.8 percent of students supported providing bags only during the first and last two weeks of the semester.
Ultimately, the University Store selected the latter choice of providing bags only during the first and last two weeks of the semester, which Elofir said will reduce the amount of unrecyclable plastic bags in landfills and decrease costs of production and operation for the store.
“Besides ‘going green,’ the amount of bags being discarded and the cost of supplying the bags is a scary high number,” SGA senator Kevin Kutner said