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.
Customers will have the option to take a plastic bag or receive an EcoCoin. Customers can then 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 Penn State Bookstore/Residential Dining. 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, one of the sustainability goals for the University is comprehensive waste management.
Single-use plastic bags are one of the most challenging marine debris issues we face, residing in the top 5 most frequently collected items for decades. According to the Ocean Conservancy’s 2017 International Coastal Cleanup Report, single-use plastic shopping bags appear again as the fifth most commonly collected item with over 520,900 of them collected by volunteers in 2016. Additionally, plastic has been found in the stomachs of more than 60 percent of all seabirds and in 100 percent of sea turtle species.
“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,” Shrivastava said.
Program Partners: Sustainability Institute, University Park Undergraduate Association, Council of Sustainable Leaders, Penn State Residential Dining, and the Penn State Bookstore
For more information, contact the program director, Sam Anawalt at firstname.lastname@example.org.