Following the examples of Canada, Washington in the United States; to San Andrés and Boyacá in Colombia; The CES University of Medellín became the first in the Aburrá Valley to say goodbye to straws, PET bottles, disposable plates and cutlery, all of them considered single-use plastics as a contribution to sustainability.
The decision was made in recognition of scientific studies that indicate that plastic inputs such as poron (Icopor) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene and polystyrene are highly polluting materials. The vast majority of these elements end their life cycle in open-air dumps, generating contamination of water sources, high permanence in the environment, affecting fauna and flora, affecting marine life, etc.
“By assuming sustainability as the essence of our mission and vision, we take responsibility for our impact on a social, environmental and economic level. Much of the plastic that we generate at our University does not end its life cycle as a raw material through recycling. The negative impact or externalities are high, therefore, we decided to take action and at the administrative level, generate zero plastics, as was done some time ago with styrofoam ” , clarified Dr. Jorge Julián Osorio Gómez, rector of the CES University .
For this reason, since the end of June we found that the use of straws, plates, cutlery, PET bottles or elements of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was restricted and there is no evidence of use of straws, plates, cutlery; polystyrene (poron). This initially in the university campus, headquarters El Poblado, until it was extended to its headquarters in Envigado and Sabaneta. These elements were replaced by biodegradable containers based on starch or cornstarch or cane bagasse.
“Just eliminating the plastic cups from the coffee dispensing machines means that we stop dumping nearly 100,000 cups a year. Now, if we add up all the bottles, cutlery, plates, etc., that we generate in a community of more than 7,000 people, we can affirm that we are contributing to a more sustainable city. Additionally, we are working on the whole issue of composting to join forces and generate less and less waste ” , expressed Tatiana Molina Velásquez, head of the U. CES Sustainability Office.
The measure applies to borrowers from the University (cafeterias, warehouses, shops, vending machines); to providers of catering and food services, permanent or transitory, for example, event organizers. In case of finding a provider that does not comply with the guidelines, the University makes a formal call through a written statement and with the pertinent evidence. Upon the second written call, the institution will have the full right to terminate the current contract with the provider and tender the space.