CulinArt Tests Paper Straws

Amala Rajesh

CulinArt, the dining service company for Bucks’ cafeteria has recently tested offering paper straws as part of a green initiative.
Paper straws as a replacement to plastic have started increasing in use in many institutions and businesses in order to reduce plastic pollution. This kind of pollution is very harmful not only to human beings but aquatic life as well.
The paper straws have not yet been officially introduced at the cafeteria, but have been available on a trial basis since the beginning of this school year to test the reaction of students to the initiative. Opinions are mixed, however students in general think this is a good idea.
Anastasia Perez, a 20-year-old nursing major from Langhorne, said, “If they’re going to help the environment, then that’s always good. I don’t really use straws much to be honest, but I probably would if the paper straws were introduced to the cafeteria.”
Perez’s only concern was that paper straws tend to get soggy.
Michael Uglava, 22, a computer science major from the country of Georgia, expressed a concern to paper straws.
Uglava said, “Yes, I think it’s a good idea as not only is it eco-friendly but it’s also healthier than plastic according to scientists. But I think that it does result in cutting down more trees so that could be a problem.” He added that students may not oppose the straws but they may find them unfamiliar.
Scott McGrath, the director of dining services for Bucks’ cafeteria, felt that CulinArt’s green initiative could have a very big impact on the environment as it would significantly lower the company’s carbon footprint.
“I would say that our company would be concerned about cutting down trees and would want to make sure this was a sustainable practice on the suppliers end,” said McGrath.

He also acknowledged that, at times, paper straws can get soggy and thus become hard to use, which he felt was a reason why the paper straws needed to be tested before being permanently implemented in the cafeteria.
“I’m sure there are other options. Maybe instead of going paper, we go hemp, or just not use straws at all. I mean, if they didn’t exist at all, there would be a zero-carbon footprint. That’s why, I know our company is not just jumping in. They want to make sure that they’re doing it in the best way possible,” said McGrath
Morgan Puzyll, 21, an Early Education major from Levittown, was all for the switch to paper.
Puzyll said, “I really hope they would introduce the paper straws because I am all for an eco-friendly campus.”
Another student, Zau Grin Wawhkyung, 20, a Music major from Burma said, had similar opinions.
“I really like this idea because paper straws can be recycled and  are biodegradable so that’s obviously really good for the environment,” said Wawhkyung.
McGrath emphasized that green initiatives are quite common for CulinArt. He explained that the cafeteria currently uses compostable paper in their salad bar containers.
The cafeteria also eliminated Styrofoam 10 years ago and use reuses fryer oil to reduce wastage.
“Our company has been thinking about using paper straws for a while with it being big in the news over the past six months or so. We’re a very green company. One of our driving principles in doing business is to be as sustainable and earth-friendly as possible. Straws is just the next step,” said Mcgrath.