EastBay Today

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Posted January 23, 2019

Banning the Bottle

Cal State East Bay to eliminate all single-use plastics by 2023

Cal State East Bay will join the rest of the CSU system in banning all single-use plastics on campus by 2023.

The new policy, in effect immediately, establishes purchasing practices aimed at eliminating items such as plastic straws, plastic water bottles and plastic bags, giving preference to reusable products or those that are compostable or recyclable.

Currently, plastic bags and straws have been removed from the Dining Commons, Provisions on Demand (the POD) and Greens to Go. Paper straws should be available at those locations starting next week. The bookstore provides paper bags and while it does have straws and sporks available, both are made from compostable materials.

"Kicking the single-use plastic habit is one of the easiest and cost-effective things we can do as individuals to positively impact the environment.”

According to a statement from the CSU, the deadlines for eliminating single-use plastic items on campuses are staggered through 2023.

By January 2019 - Eliminate plastic straws, plastic carryout bags

By January January 2021 - Eliminate single-use foam food service items

By January 2023 - Eliminate single-use plastic water bottles (a 25 percent reduction is required annually)

The push to eliminate single-use plastic items on campuses throughout California follows a national trend aimed at slowing the overwhelming number of plastics affecting oceans and other environmentally fragile areas.

"Kicking the single-use plastic habit is one of the easiest and cost-effective things we can do as individuals to positively impact the environment,” said Cal State East Bay Sustainability Director Jillian Buckholz.

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, it is estimated that by 2050, the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish, increasing the risk of ingestion by seabirds and marine wildlife. Americans alone purchase about 50 billion water bottles per year, or 13 bottles per month for every person, according to the Earth Day Network. However, the recycling rate in the U.S. is only 23 percent.

“Millions of tons of plastics end up in our oceans each year, threatening marine life and creating unnecessary costs in expensive cleanup efforts,” Buckholz said. “I'm proud that the CSU is banning single-use plastics across all campuses making the statement that the largest university system in the United States is moving towards a sustainable future."


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