CSUEB to Eliminate Plastic Bottles



By Elizabeth Medina, CONTRIBUTOR

California State University, East Bay is transitioning to more environmentally friendly alternatives in compliance with a new California State University system-wide policy.
Policy 5236 was passed at the end of 2018 with the goal of reducing plastic waste throughout all CSU campuses. The first wave of the policy is already being put into effect, which requires CSU campuses to eliminate all plastic, single-use straws and bags.
Paper straws and compostable utensils are being opted for in the Dining Commons, Greens to Go, and the Provisions On Demand (P.O.D.) Market. Paper bags are also being used in the bookstore and numerous other food locations around campus. The end goal is to eliminate all single-use plastic water bottles by 2023.
The Concord campus is still providing plastic bags, based on request, but outlets are beginning the transition to solely using paper bags. Aramark had also declared that every food franchise location on campus will be switching to paper straws sometime in the near future.
Other changes that students may have already taken notice of is the installation of “goose necks” to water fountains to encourage students to carry a reusable water bottle. Sustainability director, Jillian Buckholz encourages students to use these water fountains.
“Students should not be afraid to drink the water … we have some of the highest quality water,” she said in an interview. Buckholz further explains that the water that goes through our fountains come from the Hetch-Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite Park, which derives from snow-melt in the Sierra Nevada.
There is 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste and only nine percent of it is actually being recycled. It is predicted that by mid-century there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean, according to National Geographic.