EcoCoin aims to reduce the number of plastic bags used at Penn State while also supporting student philanthropic efforts.
EcoCoin is currently at locations in Penn State Dining and the Penn State Bookstore
Customers that have opted to take an EcoCoin over a plastic bag.
Dollars donated back to student philanthropic efforts.
The goal of the EcoCoin program is to reduce the number of plastic bags used at Penn State. Since implementing EcoCoin over the summer, the Penn State Bookstore has seen a reduction in plastic bag usage by more than 8,500 bags. Following its initial launch at the Penn State Bookstore over the summer, the EcoCoin program has expanded to Penn State Dining and reduced around 3,000 bags in a few months. To date, the program has raised around $1,900 for student philanthropic efforts. The inaugural three organizations featured were all selected for engaging in sustainable development within the Penn State community. Annually, the program will give back around $4,000 to student organizations.
Customers have the option to take a plastic bag or receive an EcoCoin. Customers can place that EcoCoin into one of three boxes, each one representing a student philanthropy organization engaged in social impact for sustainable development. Each EcoCoin represents a 5-cent donation made by the store that is hosting the program. On top of the total amount collected through EcoCoins, the Penn State Bookstore will contribute $500 per semester to each organization. According to Paul Shrivastava, Chief Sustainability Officer and director of the Sustainability Institute, "Plastics are a main source of pollution on land and oceans. The EcoCoin is an impressive student-driven initiative to motivate peers to decrease the use of plastic bags on campus. This is a win-win solution that I hope will spread across our Commonwealth Campuses and bring awareness of the plastics pollution to all of Pennsylvania."
Program Partners: Sustainability Institute, University Park Undergraduate Association, Council of Sustainable Leaders, Penn State Residential Dining, and the Penn State Bookstore