Chico State’s strawless challenge successful in first 72 hours


Martin Chang

A.S. Dining Student Lead Jordan Menkes assembles a Post Plastic straw kit on May 2.

Less than 72 hours after going strawless, A.S. Dining sold 507 reusable straw kits at various coffee shops and dining areas on campus.

On April 23, Chico State officially went strawless and traded in plastic straws for paper ones. While paper straws are more compostable than plastic straws, student employees at Sutter Dining also made straw kits that included reusable metal straws. These kits cost $1.25 each and give students an even more sustainable option than paper or plastic straws.

Wendy Cubias, a student employee at Sutter Dining, was one of the two students in charge of making the straw kits.

“What comes in the straw kit is a sticker that says The Strawless Challenge, a metal straw and a straw cleaner,” Cubias said.

Martin Chang
Wendy Cubias, a student employee at Sutter Dining, poses with a Post Plastic straw kit on May 2.

A.S. Dining Marketing Coordinator Joelle Cabasa said the straw kit sales were past any expectations.

“We never expected anyone to want to have the kits or anything like that. It’s just an option,” Cabasas said. “This is just one more option that we provided for the students. So, the fact that they ran out of straws within 72 hours, was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of.”

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For the most part, Cabasa said there hasn’t been much negativity or backlash on going strawless but rather called any push back “growing pains.”

Though paper straws are only a fraction of a cent more than plastic, they are kept behind the register for cost purposes but are available for anyone upon request.

Paper straws were implemented not only to be more sustainable but to also cut down on as much post-consumer waste as possible.

“Last year (Chico State) went through 130,000 plastic straws on campus,” Cabasa said.

Martin Chang
A.S. Dining Marketing Coordinator Joelle Cabasa demonstrates the different parts of the Post Plastic straw kit on May 2.

She estimated that 1,000 more straw kits will be made and distributed within the next two weeks.

Cabasa also said that A.S. Dining is already aware of the products they buy and they make sure all products are as sustainable as possible.

“As of right now, all of the utensils and paper products on campus, that are used…they’re all provided by eco products and the purchases that we’re making are the sustainable options that they provide,” Cabasa added. “And for the most part, that’s literally their whole product line.”

There are six locations on campus that students can buy post plastic straw kits:

  1. Marketplace
  2. Common Grounds
  3. Creekside Cafe
  4. Butte Station
  5. Holt Station
  6. Urban Roots

Kelsi Sibert can be reached at [email protected] or @ksibertofficialon Twitter.