Choose to Reuse at Pitt

Every month, Pitt's Oakland campus uses nearly 50,000 single-use disposable cups for beverages and 225,000 to-go packages for food. The majority of these single-use disposable packaging products are not recyclable and end up in landfill. Plastic pollution and litter have an enormous detrimental environmental impact on our ecosystems. Our goal is to serve half of to-go meals and beverages in reusable containers by 2025, to reduce the use of single-use, non-recyclable to-go packaging.

Order your meal in a reusable container at participating dining locations and help reduce single-use disposable to-go containers on campus. 

Click HERE to watch how to utilize the program every day!

Participating Locations

  • Einstein Bagel Bros. Posvar
  • Einstein Bagel Bros. Benedum
  • Nicola’s Garden 
  • Auditions

Drop Off Points

  • Schenley Cafe
  • Litchfield Towers
  • Benedum Hall
  • Posvar Hall

All students, faculty, and staff with a Panther Card are eligible to receive their first reusable container for free! Follow these steps to get started on your reusable container journey.


Claim your first free reusable container with your Pitt ID at any participating Pitt Dining register.


Ask for a reusable container when you order your meal at participating Pitt Dining locations.


Exchange your used container at any Choose to Reuse machine for a token and we’ll wash and dry the container for reuse.


Next time you order your meal in a reusable container, exchange your token for the container at checkout.


**If you lose your container or token, additional containers cost 3 dollars.**

Location map

After more than five years of student initiatives working to reduce plastic bag use on campus, the BYO[Bag] (Bring Your Own Bag) program launched in 2014.

After the first two weeks of each semester, customers are charged $0.25 for every plastic bag they use when shopping at dining locations on campus. You can avoid the fee by BYO[Bag].

50% of the proceeds from the bag fee as well as 50% of the sales from the BYO[Bag] reusable bags sold at QuickZones and the Forbes Street Market are donated to the Pitt Green Fund to support other student sustainability initiatives. 

Since the BYO[Bag] program began in 2014, it has prevented the use of more 1.3 million plastic bags from being used. The program has raised $6,495 for the Pitt Green Fund.  BYO[Bag] is also at the University Store on Fifth and The Pitt Shop.

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are encouraged to use a reusable mug to reduce single-use disposable cup waste and reduce their environmental impact. Customers can save $0.25 on espresso beverages when they use a reusable mug or pay just $0.99 for brewed coffee or tea.

You could save $150 per semester by using a reusable mug for one cup of coffee each day instead of a disposable cup, and you can save even more by using a BYO[Mug] frequency card, available at your nearest Campus Bean Scene location. With the frequency card, order your drink in a reusable mug five times and the sixth drink is on us – just as long as you BYO[Mug]!

Participating locations include: Cathedral Coffee, RxPresso, Hill O'Beans, Cafe Victoria, Common Grounds, University Store Cafe, Side Bar, Cup & ChaucerSimply to-go, Bunsen BrewerBits N BytesBottom Line BistroGSPH Coffee, and Morning Grounds

Customers are asked to remove the lid of their mug before they hand it to the cashier, and only mugs with lids may be accepted. For safety reasons, we cannot make drinks in glass containers such as Mason jars or in previously-used single-use disposable cups. Reusable mugs must be no larger than 24 ounces.

In 2018, the University of Pittsburgh set a goal in the Pitt Sustainability Plan to serve 50% of to-go meals and beverages in reusable containers by 2025. Each month more than 325,000 single-use disposable to-go food packaging containers are used on campus – none of which are recyclable and only a small fraction of which are compostable (where building-wide composting is available).