Student Groups Come Together to Ban Plastic Bags

Student groups at UCSB including the Associated Students Coastal Fund, Environmental Affairs Board, Isla Vista Surfrider Foundation and CalPirg, have banded together with campus administration and the Plastic Pollution Coalition to make a profound impact on the campus community and the City of Santa Barbara. Compelled by the goal to ban single use plastic bags and raise awareness of the detrimental affects of plastics on our environment, the students have created a new partnership on campus named the UCSB-Plastic Pollution Coalition (UCSB-PPC).

The global Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) is an alliance of individuals, organizations and businesses working together to stop plastic pollution and reduce its toxic impacts on humans,animals and the environment. The UCSB-PPC is participating in the global PPC’s “Plastic-Free Campuses” project as the pilot school. The goal of the project is to encourage more universities to reduce their plastic consumption by educating their fellow students, raising awareness in the campus community and actively engaging students in campus policy.

Alyssa Hall, a core member of the UCSB-PPC, described the importance of the campaign that “We live in one of the most exceptional places in the world. We go to one of the most exceptional schools in the world. Shouldn’t our policies around single use plastic be exceptional as well? We can do better than single use plastics and the UCSB – Plastic Pollution Coalition has unified our campus around eliminating this wasteful practice.”

The week of January 9 – January 13 marks the kickoff of the campaign and will include such displays as dumping a single days worth of plastic collected in the center of campus, the installation of a sculpture made completely of plastic found on local beaches, and a press conference.

In conjunction with UCSB-PPC’s campaign, UCSB Reads, which hands out over 3,000 free books to students every year, has chosen a book focused on the theme of marine plastic pollution. Moby Duck, by Donovan Hohn, discusses a spill of plastic ducks into the Pacific Ocean in the 1990s and the hunt to find them on local beaches. These organizations have joined forces to bring even more campus support to the campaign.

Upcoming events for the UCSB-PPC include the author Donovan Hohn coming to campus to discuss his book, “a day without a bag” where they will be giving out free re-usable bags, a re-usable item vendor faire on the UCSB campus. Students organizers will continue to collect signatures on campus with the goal to make an impact to City Council and the campus to be plastic bag free!

For more information on the PPC and upcoming events, email [email protected] ###