The environment scored a major victory this week when the University of California Office of the President announced that all UC campuses would phase out single-use plastics over the next ten years, joining colleges and universities from Maine, North Carolina and Florida that have committed to breaking free from plastic.
The University of Oregon should follow suit by signing OSPIRG’s Break Free From Plastics Campus Pledge.Single-use plastics are a major source of pollution in Oregon — straws, plastic bags and utensils break down into microplastics that contaminate our oceans and can kill wildlife. Not only that, but 99% of plastics are derived from fossil fuels that cause climate change.
It’s time for UO to lead by becoming the first campus in Oregon to get rid of single-use plastics. Nothing used for a few minutes should pollute oceans for hundreds of years.
Stephanie Burke is a senior at the University of Oregon studying Environmental Studies, and she is Vice Chair of OSPIRG.