Skip to main content


Going Zero Plastic

University of Dayton Dining Services joined CNN's celebration of World Oceans Day and CNN's #ZeroPlasticLunch and #thelaststraw initiatives June 8 by announcing Au Bon Pain, which opened last year in Kennedy Union, will transition from plastic containers to compostable containers throughout the summer.

"Dining Services has been zero plastic since 2009 when we removed trash cans from our dining facilities. Since then, tray conveyors in our full-service dining areas take all 'trash' to an area where we sort trash, recycling and compostable material," said Joan Bauman, assistant director of dining services. "We recycle most, if not all, of our plastic drink bottles. We also use compostable straws."

Since 2009, the University has diverted more than 2,622 tons of waste from landfills, according to Steve Kendig, executive director of energy utilization and environmental sustainability.

CNN created the initiatives to bring awareness to the impact non-recycled plastic has on oceans and to encourage people to use reusable plastic containers for their lunches. Read about CNN's celebration of World Oceans Day and #ZeroPlasticLunch and #thelaststraw initiatives plus resources for going plastic-free at the related link. CNN is encouraging people to share their zero plastic lunches or reusable straws using the hashtags #ZeroPlasticLunch or #thelaststraw. CNN will be live blogging all day June 8 at and will feature the best #ZeroPlasticLunch efforts.

A study commissioned by the World Economic Forum predicted there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050. Only 14 percent of plastic packaging is collected for recycling.

"In our Catholic, Marianist tradition, we are called to care for and be good stewards of the environment," Kendig said. "When CNN approached us, we welcomed the opportunity to help the organization spread awareness of this issue and encourage others to use recyclable or compostable plastic."

Visit the related link for more information on the University's recycling, composting and waste initiatives.


News and Communications Staff