The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) released a pledge to guide campuses through the long-term elimination of single-use disposable plastics. PLAN is a nonprofit that cultivates, educates and inspires student leaders to tackle issues around waste and unsustainable systems on their campus.
The “Break Free From Plastic” campus pledge and toolkit specifically addresses accessibility and inclusivity concerns and generates a framework for college campuses (and other institutions) to develop long-term systemic solutions to issues around waste. The pledge will establish a standard for what it takes for a campus to break free from single-use disposable plastic.
Communities have begun to pledge zero waste goals as a result of community and media pressure, and campuses now have the opportunity to take an exemplary leadership role. As these institutions begin to set goals around policy, procurement, bans and efficient ways to manage waste, PLAN will provide support and guidance in those efforts.
The goal of the pledge is to support students and staff in building campaigns to gain institutional commitment to breaking free from plastics and to support the institution as they begin to implement policy and infrastructure changes. The organization has created a Plastic-Free Campus toolkit (in partnership with the Plastic Pollution Coalition) to guide campuses on the best practices in achieving their waste reduction goals. PLAN is calling on campuses to establish these goals to create equitable and accessible alternatives based on their region and statewide infrastructure.
“As plastics have caught the public's attention, we are seeing reactionary approaches to reduce its use; from religious recycling rhetoric to bans that fail to provide viable alternatives to users,” said Chris Kane, director of campus research and resource development, in a statement. “This pledge addresses ways we will support campuses in creating a more holistic vision to curb plastic pollution. Colleges and universities can test and refine these innovative solutions, eventually to be scaled for society at large to break free from plastic.”
PLAN’s website includes the pledge, resources and support that can be provided to campuses interested in joining.