(UG3) Creating Replacements for Single-Use Plastics in the Cuenca Soup Kitchen

Authors: Samantha Braun, Lali Berelashvili, Cal Lebak, Colette Webster

Advisors: Esther Boucher-Yip, Gary Pollice

Category: Undergraduate


The Cuenca Soup Kitchen aims to be an environmentally conscious operation by reducing plastic waste. Through interviewing volunteers and observing their operations, we found that plastic bags used to package rice, produce, salt, and sugar lead to high plastic waste. We developed processes for creating reusable bags from single-use bags for the rice and produce and identified how to reuse plastic water bottles for salt and sugar. These recommendations will save the Cuenca Soup Kitchen over $900 per year as well as prevent them from using over 18,200 single-use bags per year.