MSA senate approves resolution supporting reusable bag incentives

The resolution, which passed unanimously, recommends discounts for reusable bag usage on campus and more awareness about plastic bag waste.

The Missouri Students Association senate unanimously passed a resolution during its Nov. 27 meeting to support possible incentives for the usage of reusable bags at on-campus locations.

The resolution, authored by External Affairs Chairman Solomon Davis, was the first step toward a possible partnership between MSA and Campus Dining Services, which would focus on reducing waste from plastic bags.

Davis said he found himself taking a plastic bag every time he made a to-go order at an on-campus dining location, which led to him drafting the resolution.

“This bill is about giving students a choice and recognizing that finding alternatives can offer a solution that could benefit students, such as financial incentives,” Davis said.

These financial incentives are not specifically stated in the resolution, nor did Davis outline them during the senate meeting. However, he hopes the resolution’s passing will allow him to create a more concrete plan with CDS.

Davis likened the possibility of financial incentives to coffee shops that reduce a final price if a customer brings a reusable container for their purchase.

If a location cannot offer reusable bags, the resolution recommends they should implement a waste awareness program and supply recycling bins at locations where shoppers use plastic bags.

During the meeting, Campus Affairs Chair Kaitlyn Sawyer raised concerns about the lack of specificity around proposed financial incentives. Davis said the resolution, however, was a starting point for discussions and that specifics will arise as talks continue.

“The bill is supporting the efforts of myself and some others to look at the usage of plastic on campus and what we can to do limit that,” Davis said. “I have already talked to the CDS director and look forward to future work with them.”

The Missouri General Assembly passed a law in 2015, House Bill 722, that restricted any taxes or bans on plastic bags by a political subdivision.

However, Davis stressed that his resolution does not support a full ban on plastic bags at MU, but instead focuses on providing options.

“This bill is about limiting the use where possible,” Davis said. “It doesn’t call for a ban, necessarily, but it is about offering alternatives.”

Edited by Caitlyn Rosen |

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