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Single-Use Plastics Policy

UC San Diego is committed to eliminating single-use plastic items by 2030. 


Single-Use Plastics Policy

University of California campuses are phasing out single-use plastics as part of a bold commitment to achieve zero waste, furthering its long-established, innovative sustainability efforts and goals. 

This comprehensive target will eliminate all non-essential single-use plastic with viable alternatives by 2030. The policy includes the following milestones:

  • Plastic bags in retail and food service establishments will be eliminated by Jan. 1, 2021.
  • Single-use plastic dining accessories (e.g., straws, utensils, stirrers) will be eliminated and replaced with local compostable or reusable alternatives by July 1, 2021, with exceptions for accessibility needs.
  • Dine-in facilities will provide reusable food service items (e.g., plates, cups, clamshell containers) for food consumed on site by July 1, 2022, and to-go facilities will provide reusable or locally compostable alternatives.
  • Campus food service operations will phase out the purchase, sale and distribution of single-use plastic beverage bottles by Jan. 1, 2023. 

Check out the press release here.


Elimination of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)
According to the policy, UC prohibits the sale, procurement, or distribution of packaging foam, such as food containers and packaging material. The only exception to this ban is for the purchase of products utilized in laboratory or medical settings.

UC San Diego has banned styrofoam packaging since 2020 and is continuously working on programs to find substitutes for packaging lab and medical supplies.