WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) – Purdue University hopes to reduce unnecessary waste by replacing plastic jets with paper alternatives on campus campus in West Lafayette, which comes shortly after city officials took similar steps to cut plastic waste.  The transition was completed earlier this month. It affects more than 30 campus operations, including all Purdue Memorial Union restaurants. Purdue Dining & Catering estimates that the campus has used 650,000 plastic jets in the past year.
The transition shows the university's "commitment to sustainability" and follows trends worldwide, says Tom Coleman, director of retailing for Purdue Dining & Catering.
"Replacing plastic jets with paper reduces the environmental risk with a biodegradable product," Coleman said in a university release. "The local impact of this transition will help reduce unnecessary waste on campus."
The university buys its paper jets from Fort Wayne-based Aardvark, the university says. Aardvark sucks completely degraded for 45 to 60 days when it is composted, the company says.
"It's not just important for us to do this transition, but it's also exciting that we are able to work with another Indiana-based business to do this," Coleman said.
West Lafayette City Council approved a decision earlier this year asking companies to reduce their use of plastic jets, agitators and implements.
The University's Dining & Catering Department is also planning to raise awareness of straw waste and encourage students to stop using straw completely through a campaign "Make This Your Last Straw".