The Surfrider Foundation: Protecting Oceans, Waves and Beaches since 1984

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Project: Beach Preservation

CSLUB Annual Service Project 2014

CSLUB Club takes on plastic on their campus

Project Description

Over the past few years cities and counties across California have been implementing bans on single use plastic bags at grocery stores and other large retailers.  The city of Long Beach implemented its own ban which has been in effect since 2011, and we applaud this effort to remove unnecessary plastic from our oceans and landfills.  We at the CSULB Surfrider Foundation Club would like to take this idea one step further on the CSULB campus by requiring that small stores and food vendors discontinue their use of plastic bags.

Anyone who has ever been in the campus food court at lunchtime has no doubt seen the hordes of students and faculty who try to get food before their next class, and many of these vendors (ie. Subway, El Pollo Loco, etc.) handout their products in thin plastic bags.  This is frustrating because most of these bags exist for only a few seconds to transport food from the counter to the lunch table before being thrown away, and even environmentally conscious students cannot refuse the excess plastic without risking spilling their lunch or slowing the already chaotic lunch lines.  Thanks to a responsible student body and hardworking janitors most of these bags find their way to the garbage, but they still unnecessarily take up landfill space and use petroleum resources.  Because CSULB prides itself on its mission of sustainability and calling itself “The Beach”, we urge campus leaders to implement a ban on these bags either through discontinued use, switching to biodegradable plant-based bags or recycled paper bags, or other methods. 


Our club plans to achieve this goal with a two pronged approach.  First, we will start an online petition to gain student and faculty support while at the same time spreading awareness of the issue.  Second, we will reach out to campus leaders and student body representatives, explaining our reasoning and showing our student support, asking that they implement the policy change on food vendor’s contracts.  With backing of CSULB students and the help of campus leaders, we are confident that we can affect change on this issue and make our campus a little more environmentally friendly.

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