The University of California announced this week an updated plastics policy that aims to phase out single-use plastics over the next 10 years to pave the way for campuses to be free of nonessential plastics by 2030.
Roughly two-thirds of plastic ever produced has been released into the environment and remains there in some form, according to Eileen DiPofi, the CALPIRG student campus organizer for UC Santa Barbara.
Smaller plastic particles concentrate toxic chemicals and increasingly contaminate sources of food and drinking water. DiPofi noted that experts agree that upstream reduction of packaging and packaging waste is the most effective and least expensive way to protect human, wildlife and environmental health.
“The new UC policy is a huge step in addressing plastic pollution by reducing the use and production of single-use plastics,” said Valerie Ngyuen, chairwoman for CALPIRG at UC Berkeley.
“We know that the UCs care a lot about sustainability and that the students wanted to see more action towards combating plastic pollution,” said Veronika Michels, CALPIRG student campus organizer. “We have brought in student voices to develop this policy and are really excited that the UCs are taking action and making the policy update.”