Plastic Free DCU: Student’s Thoughts 

Last week DCU students voted not only on new SU members or their opinion on the reunification of Ireland, but also on whether DCU should promote sustainable and work specifically towards a single-use-plastic-free campus!  

There’s no logical argument AGAINST sustainability and environmentalism, so this is definitely great news for all at the university and the planet. I asked some DCU students what they thought of the decision despite the low voter turnout, and what they thought might change in their daily life in the college. 

Gemma Robotham, a 1st year student, said the change will make it much easier to be environmentally friendly: “ becomes something you don't even have to think about, and it will filter into life outside of university as well.” 

DCU Sustainable Living Society were the group responsible for the vote being but forward in the first place, saying on their Facebook page that: 

‘It's so great to be in such a progressive University. No more plastic cups and cutlery from March 17th onwards!!!!” 

Mari Foody, a 2nd year Journalism student, explained the voting turnout to me: 

“...student engagement was so low this year! For each vote to pass - be it referendum or SU candidate, 10% of the student body had to vote. There's 17,000 students so Sustainability society needed 1700 votes to pass their referendum!” 

She added: 

“I did feel that the referendum would have the support of the DCU students as I believe the college to be quite progressive and forward thinking but the issue this year was definitely lack of engagement from students.” 

Roisin Maguire, first year journalism student, said that it was important for DCU student to make this decision as whatever they do will have a “knock on” effect on other universities.  

“I’m delighted that it passed, and that students were able to sacrifice the convenience of single-use plastics in order to protect our planet,” said Darragh McNally, second year multimedia student. He also said the result was a great stepping stone in promoting environmental awareness in DCU. 

Bryan Mulry, Business Faculty Rep this year, said it was great for DCU students. 

“I think it's great that Students have unanimously voted to help the environment and it shows that Students in DCU really do care about the Environment and can get active on social and political issues,” he said. 

Finally, Mari Foody gave us some tips on how to start supporting the new change:  

“...keep cups are great and can be bought on campus in the SU for just a few euro - you get 20c off your coffee/cappucino/mocha when you use them AND you're reducing waste - so why wouldn't you?” 

There’s so much more that we can all do to try to repair some of the harm done to our planet, and DCU can now say they are truly making an effort! 

Photo by Bas Emmen on Unsplash