Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.42
Liaison Matthew Muchna
Submission Date March 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Northern Arizona University
IN-27: Innovation D

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Ellen Vaughan
Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Retail Plastic Bag Free NAU

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

May 26, 2016:
NAU is excited to announce that no retail store on campus will be giving out plastic bags!

NAU’s Bookstore (operated by Follett) is the latest concessionaire to stop handing out plastic bags for retail operations. Instead, they will be opting for a more environmentally friendly paper bag. The new bags are made from 100% Forestry Sustainability Council (FSC) Recycled material and are themselves, recyclable. 95% of the recycled content comes from post consumer waste. To further reduce their environmental impact customers can request to not receive a bag with their purchase. “The NAU Bookstore team is proud to join the Northern Arizona University community in discontinuing the use of plastic bags. Since launching our “skip the bag” program in 2009, we’ve found that many customers are happy to pass on plastic bags for their purchase. Discontinuing plastic bags at the store reinforces our encouragement to all NAU Bookstore customers to either carry their purchased items or place them in a reusable bag. Together, the NAU community can make a big difference,” said Diana White, Store Manager for the NAU Bookstore.

Among its many sustainable initiatives, NAU’s Campus Dining (operated by Sodexo) decided to stop using bags back in 2010. “At first, it seemed like a huge endeavor,” explains Casey Fisher, Sodexo’s director of Strategic Planning and Marketing “we have 29 Restaurants and convenience stores across campus. But Sodexo has a strong commitment to sustainability and we were excited to work with NAU on a project that was pretty innovative at the time. Six years later, we’re happy to report we’re keeping approximately 33,000 plastic bags a year out of circulation. The whole endeavor was definitely a success, there was never really much negative push back at all” Fisher concludes.

In Flagstaff, plastic bags can be recycled at grocery stores that participate in Bag Central Station – Where Bags Belong. They are not recyclable through the residential recycling system. Going plastic bag free is the latest in the bookstore’s “green” initiatives. The NAU Bookstore also recycles books at the end of the fall semester and continually recycles electronics from the computer store.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement
Waste

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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