Carnegie Mellon University

Scotty SIPS logo with a decorative image

March 04, 2024

ScottySIPS Reusable Cup Program

Jessica Tones
Scotty SIPS is a reusable cup program to reduce single-use packaging waste on campus. To advance the university’s sustainability goals, Scotty SIPS was initiated by Carnegie Mellon University student SEED Leaders in partnership with CMU Dining Services.

How Does Scotty SIPS Work?

Save money while reducing single-use packaging waste! CMU students, faculty, staff, affiliates, and guests can bring a clean, reusable cup to any participating dining location and receive a $0.25 discount when purchasing an eligible beverage.

Participating locations:

Reusable cups must be:

  • In good condition, sanitized and clean. Dining staff cannot wash, rinse, or wipe down the reusable container. The associate will pour your coffee into a disposable cup if your mug is dirty or damaged.

  • Appropriately sized to the beverage that is ordered. The associate will pour the quantity of the beverage paid, regardless of the size of the reusable cup. For example, if the patron orders an 8 oz. coffee and presents a 12 oz. mug, the associate will pour 8 oz into the cup. 

Dining establishments have the right to refuse any reusable container that does not fit these criteria.

Why Was Scotty SIPS Created?

Carnegie Mellon’s Sustainability Initiative is committed to furthering the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, including “Responsible Consumption and Production.” This commitment includes using compostable drink- and dishware around campus, which is currently the standard in CMU’s dining locations. The SEED students identified that moving to a reusable cup program offers additional environmental benefits:

  • Reusables consume less energy, water, and carbon dioxide than alternatives over their lifetime.
  • Reusables minimize compostable waste streams, including:
    • Carbon dioxide produced in transport
    • Land required for processing
    • Atmospheric emissions from incineration

Scotty SIPS highlights a valuable collaboration between student leaders and CMU’s dining vendors by encouraging and incentivizing community members to use reusable cups.

The Million Sips Project

Along with the program's launch, we are initiating the Million Sips project. Each disposable cup saved through the Scotty SIPs program, will be recorded, with a goal of reaching 1,000,000 oz of drink cups saved from the landfill. Progress towards this goal will be reported monthly on the dining website.