Bon Appetit charging for to-go boxes in effort to be more sustainable

In a move that Bon Appetit management is calling “in line with the St. Edward’s mission of sustainability,” the food service company will charge for to-go boxes.

This semester, Bon Appetit began their transition from providing free compostable containers — informally known as to-go boxes — with meal purchases, to charging 25 cents per box.

The goal is to start promoting the use of reusable plastic containers — known as clamshells — over compostable boxes used in the past.

Students can purchase a reusable container with cash, credit, topper tender or meal plan. For a limited time, they can be purchased for three dollars.

The reusable containers will cost six dollars in a couple of weeks, said General Manager Michael Smith. Bon Appetit is “definitely not turning a profit,” he said.

Sophomore Margeaux Labat plans on making the transition from compostable to reusable soon.

“It’s kind of scary because no one really explains how to use [the to-go boxes], so I don’t know what to do once I have it,” said Labat. “I don’t know if [Bon Appetit] washes it or if I wash it.”

Assistant General Manager Elvin Lubrin identifies areas of improvement at Bon Appetit, one of them being sustainability.

Over 100,000 meals eaten in the cafeteria last year were in a compostable boxes, rather than on actual plates.

“By making that simple change [from compostable to reusable], we can reduce the waste that our campus puts directly into the landfills,” Lubrin said.

Student Davis Jones said that in the past, he has gotten a compostable to-go box and then eaten in the dining hall.

“I’ll get a to-go [box] thinking I’m going to go back to my room, but then I see friends and I decide to eat with them,” Jones said.

Jones and Labat said that compostable boxes have been placed in the trash rather than the compost bin.

“There aren’t compostable bins anywhere except in the lunchroom and that’s why people end up placing them in the trash, because there is no other place to put them,” Jones said.

Bon Appetit will continue offering and promoting reusable over compostable boxes. Plastic clamshells that have a St. Edward’s logo on them will be arriving in the coming weeks.

“By promoting the reusable clamshells, we hope that this year, and every year moving forward, the campus will embrace their responsibility to our earth and the future by using the reusable clamshells or china instead of the compostable clamshells,” Lubrin said .