Ned's Cafe: stop producing so much waste!

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Victoria University Food Services
March 2019
Toronto, ON

Dear Victoria University Food Services,

I am writing to you as a member of the Victoria College Community about my concerns regarding Ned’s café. Ned’s is a welcoming place, providing a valuable service to many students and faculty on campus. However, and in light of the recent UN reports about the threat of climate change and biodiversity loss for humanity, I am writing to you regarding the improvements Ned’s could make regarding its environmental impact.

I have been in contact with members of the Food Services several times to address the issue of Ned’s important waste production. I have always received polite and considerate answers, but little action followed. I understand you are committed to serving the Victoria College community as a whole and may fear that changing some practices is not a priority for all. I am hoping the signatures following this letter will convince you that, as a whole, students believe Ned’s and all other campus services should be leaders in terms of sustainability.

The excessive amount of plastic and packaging in the products shocks many of us, and we hope that you will seriously consider the following steps to make Ned’s a reflection of the communities’ commitment to a safer, cleaner, sustainable future.

  • That the necessary steps in terms of communication and implementation be taken to encourage patrons to bring their own containers and reusable mugs – with a strong, clearly announced monetary incentive
  • That the packaging that remains be fully compostable
    • Including switching to fully compostable coffee cups
  •  For the food received by external suppliers, establishing a timeline to phase out of these products or demand sustainable packaging from producers
  • That the plastic cutlery be no longer available, and replaced by sustainable single-use alternatives
    • This includes plastic straws 
  • That a compost bin be available and clearly labelled at Ned’s
  • That a timeline of the implementations of the actions above be communicated with the students

I understand these changes will demand time and effort. As indicated many times previously, many of us are willing to help the Food Services team to accomplish this shift to sustainability. We do not ignore the previous steps taken to address the problem. However, given the emergency of the situation, we believe bolder action should be taken at all levels of society.  

We thank you for your commitment to serving the Victoria College community and hope to be able to work with you further on this issue.

Best Regards,

Alienor, Victoria College student,

The Victoria College Sustainability Commission,

And the following signatories: