The Reusable Revolution
By Amanda Shoff
Georgia State University is leading the pack in green initiatives with its new OZZI program. The program gives customers at the Panther’s Club food court, located on the third floor of Student Center West, access to reusable containers for mealtime goodness. The process is simple. For no additional charge, customers can have their meals packed in a green, reusable container and receive a 10% discount on any food purchased in the container. After enjoying their meal, they return the container to the OZZI machine and receive a token. So long as they hold on to the token, customers can redeem it for a new OZZI container each time they come dine at the Panther’s Club. The containers are carefully washed and sanitized by PantherDining employees to ensure a safe, healthy eating experience every time. If the token is lost, it costs customers only five dollars to re-enroll in the program. The first time a customer uses the OZZI containers is free.
While PantherDining has been looking at the OZZI program for some time, it wasn’t until the Student Government Association made their case that the program was considered for adoption. After meetings and proper paperwork had been filed, the OZZI program was finally brought on campus. OZZI programs have already been introduced at dozens of universities, military installations, hospitals and other business locales. This green initiative reduces on-campus waste by providing an alternative to those pesky polystyrene containers so often seen at grab-and-go eateries like Panther’s Club. It’s not all about environmentalism, though. The reduction in waste also means Georgia State University saves on transporting all that polystyrene to the dump, as well as on ordering those same containers in the first place.
Since the launch of the program this summer, interest continues to grow. Students, faculty and staff are seeing and reaping the benefits of a reusable container system. PantherDining is looking forward to expanding the program to include all campus eateries, hoping to replace all disposable containers on campus with OZZI containers in the future.