Add the University of Tampa to the list of plastic straw-free places in Hillsborough County

UT has joined the straw-free movement sucking the plastic out of the Bay area.

click to enlarge Add the University of Tampa to the list of plastic straw-free places in Hillsborough County
By Horia Varlan from Bucharest, Romania (Many colored straws thrown on top of each other) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

So many places are foregoing single-use plastic straws in Hillsborough and Pinellas County, this almost isn't news.


The whole straw-free movement is still so new that any organization making the move is news (and kudos) worthy. The latest organization bellying up to the straw-free bar? The University of Tampa.

Which makes sense — UT sits on the Hillsborough River, which drains directly to the Gulf of Mexico.

“Especially being in Florida, on the bank of the Hillsborough River, we want to improve the health of our nearby waterways and oceans, and reduce our overall environmental impact,” UT president Ronald Vaughn said. “Removing plastic straws and other plastic products helps with the much bigger sustainability issue.”

UT isn't doing this for praise — it's part of a quarter-century tradition of sustainability-based initiatives, like water fountains that refill water bottles and five (with a sixth one pending) LEED-certified buildings on campus.

The University says it will make paper straws available upon request. UT will also nix plastic stirrers and swap out plastic to-go containers and plastic and styrofoam cups and lids for biodegradable ones. 

About The Author

Cathy Salustri

Cathy's portfolio includes pieces for Visit Florida, USA Today and regional and local press. In 2016, UPF published Backroads of Paradise, her travel narrative about retracing the WPA-era Florida driving tours that was featured in The New York Times. Cathy speaks about Florida history for the Osher Lifelong Learning...
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