Reusable boxes grow in popularity at the University of Maryland

Last fall, students used up to 3,600 reusable takeout containers a week.

COLLEGE PARK, Md.—More than two years after Dining Services introduced a reusable takeout container, more students than ever are choosing the more sustainable option instead of the standard white disposable containers.

In fall 2013, students used between 3,000 and 3,600 OZZI reusable containers a week — a number that’s grown every semester since the box’s debut in fall 2011, when Dining Services officials ordered 1,000 containers. But that barely puts a dent in the roughly 1 million disposable white containers students use every year, said Allison Lilly, Dining Services sustainability and wellness coordinator. What do you think?

It’s difficult to tell what kind of effect the OZZI boxes have on reducing waste, Lilly said, but she’s optimistic about the progress.