CSU Plastic Policy
In December 2018, the CSU-wide Single-Use Plastics Policy was adopted. This policy requires campuses to phase out the use of specified single-use plastic waste products and reduce overall plastic use.
The policy states that:
- By January 1st, 2019, plastic straws and single-use plastic bags must be eliminated.
- By January 1st, 2021, single-use polystyrene (e.g. STYROFOAM™) food service items must be eliminated.
- By January 1st, 2023, single-use plastic water bottles must be eliminated.
Exceptions to the above are only to be made for complying with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements or when it is demonstrated that compliance with the above will result in undue hardship on students or campus organizations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the policy ban the sale of all plastic bottles?
Not explicitly. The policy does not specifically mention sports drinks, juices, sodas or other types of beverages packaged in plastic bottles. Large plastic water bottles intended for multiple time uses are permitted for sale. However, the policy does encourage campuses to transition away from single-use plastics of all types.
What alternatives are available for single-use plastics?
Review the Single-Use Plastics Alternatives Matrix for recommendations. For additional guidance, refer to the Zero Waste Hierarchy.
Is boxed water an acceptable replacement for plastic?
Boxed water packaging is typically a mix of paper, metal, and both petroleum-based and plant-based plastics. Therefore, boxed water cannot be readily recycled. Aluminum water bottles are recommended when single serving water bottles are necessary.
Are athletic teams required to comply with the policy during away games?
Teams are strongly encouraged to take steps to use alternatives to single-use plastic water bottles at all times. However, exceptions may be granted when such alternatives are not available at away games.
Does the policy apply to employees attending off-campus conferences or other official university business?
Employees are strongly encouraged to take steps to use alternatives to single-use plastics at all times. However, exceptions may be granted when such alternatives are not available or when circumstances are beyond the employee’s ability to control, such as the types of foods/beverages served at a conference or off-site meeting.
I am organizing a university event at an off-campus site. Do I still need to comply with this policy?
When organizing any type of event, all efforts should be made to minimize the use of single-use plastics to the greatest extent possible. However, an exemption to the policy may be granted if the options at your off-site venue are restricted and alternatives unavailable. Contact the Procurement Office to request an exemption in this circumstance.
Are office water coolers impacted by this policy?
No. Although the 5-gallon water bottles are made of plastic, they are collected and reused by the vendor. Therefore, they are not considered single-use.
I need to purchase bottled water for my event/department. Who do I contact?
You may place an order by contacting Procurement Services at 805-756-2232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have other questions about the policy. Who should I contact?
General inquiries can be sent to email@example.com. For purchasing-related questions, you may contact Procurement Services at 805-756-2232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.