Meet the Schools That Are Ditching Plastic for Good

October 4, 2021

Plastic water bottles might be convenient but they often cause more harm than good. Their production not only sends harmful pollutants into the air, but the bottles themselves will take hundreds of years to disintegrate. To fight against these environmental issues, many schools are eliminating this product from their campuses. Below are a handful of them and why they made this decision.

1. NYU

This school outlawed plastic bottles on January 1, 2020 to cut back on carbon emissions and reach its goal of complete carbon neutrality by 2040. NYU expects that by doing so it can reduce plastic waste by 330,000 bottles.

2. California State University

California State University System (CSU) is doing away with all single-use plastic bottles by January 1, 2023. This will align with the state’s recently passed laws which are ceasing the manufacturing of disposable plastic straws, bags, and food containers. CSU will instead offer compostable and repurposable options.

3. UC Davis

This university will be completely free of plastic bottles by January 1, 2023. Its initial phase began on July 1, 2020 and removed plastic straws and utensils. This will gradually move on to eradicate plastic containers and bottles. UC Davis hopes this will decrease environmental waste so local recycling centers aren’t overwhelmed by plastic materials – most of which can’t be reused.

4. PUC Schools

In April 2019, PUC Schools banished plastic bottles after its Environmental Club voted to do so. Instead, aluminum bottles will be available for students to purchase and use at its filtered water stations.

5. College of St. Benedict

On August 22, 2011, Minnesota’s College of St. Benedict was one of the first to prohibit plastic bottles. This was done as a way to be more sustainable and to lower the costs of purchasing and transporting plastic bottles during the school year.

6. University of Portland

The University of Portland banned plastic bottles on March 11, 2013 to highlight environmental troubles and water rights.

7. Bemidji State

Bemidji State’s student government agreed to stop the sale of plastic bottles in the fall of 2016. This was to assist with making the campus more eco-friendly and to encourage access to free water.

8. Washington University

Washington University stopped selling plastic water bottles on January 1, 2009. They did so over concerns of poor recycling rates, energy waste, and the large discharge of carbon dioxide during shipping.

9. Macalester

On September 1, 2011, Macalester College stopped offering plastic bottles. As with many other schools, this was due to sustainability problems and to help shrink its carbon footprint.

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