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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

High number of resuable Sayles plates stolen

<ently, more than 75 plates were stolen from Sayles Café in a single weekend, according to Bon Appetit Manager Katie McKenna.
In the fall, Bon Appetit added plates to Sayles in order to decrease waste on campus. Now, students can order their food “for here,” and it comes on a reusable plate rather than on a paper plate. However, consistent theft raises questions about whether Sayles will be able to continue offering reusable plates.

“We had a limited budget for the plates,” said McKenna. “Once the plates are gone this year, we will not be replacing them.”
At the last Sayles inventory, which was Monday, April 17, 328 of the original 480 plates purchased last fall had been stolen. Bon Appetit spent around $1,200 to purchase the reusable dishware, according to McKenna.

Bon Appetit may switch to baskets if more plates are stolen, but McKenna is unsure whether the baskets would be stolen, as well.
In general, at the end of each academic year, Bon Appetit spends more than $20,000 replacing stolen plates, cups and silverware from the dining halls.

“We thought that if the plate program were successful, we might be able to reduce those costs and put that money back into the dining program,” said McKenna. This is because, if students use the reusable plates, Bon Appetit would have to spend less money on paper plates and on clam-shell containers.

It is unclear why students are taking the plates. Bon Appetit management thinks the nice weather causes students to take the plates outside, and then, the students never bring the plates back to Sayles.

“We don’t know what they are doing with them or why they don’t return them,” said McKenna.

The “for here” option was created as a compromise when the Students Organized for the Protection of the Environment (SOPE) pushed for a reusable clamshell program in order to limit campus waste, according the SOPE president Eric Tallman. Instead of using reusable clamshells, Bon Appetit decided to pilot a reusable plate program.

When the “for here” option started in the fall, SOPE organized a campaign to educate students on the advantages of reusable plate use, according to Tallman. It is unclear whether SOPE has plans to work on student theft.

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