These individuals must be key stakeholders in different areas of your school that handle plastic.
Who could be included in your eco committee?
Your University President (Decision-making body)
Key decision-makers for policy in your university. This could be:
▪ Environmental, Procurement, and Sustainability Officers
▪ Waste Management Officer
▪ Finance Officer
▪ Academics Officer
▪ Student Organization Leader
▪ Student Government Leader
And a storyteller/monitor who is in charge of liaising with Break Free From Plastic.
Set regular meetings with your committee to track your progress and iterate as needed.
Do a Plastic Audit! You may choose from these existing toolkits:
We also suggest you do a brand audit to identify the top corporate plastic polluters in your school.
|Single-use plastic utensils||
|Single-use plastic straws* & stirrers||
|Single-use plastic food serviceware (cups, plates, bowls, trays, sauce dishes, lids, etc)
Single-use plastic-lined cups and bowls (coffee cups, soup bowls, snack boats, etc)
|Single-use plastic film or cling-wraps||
|Single-use plastic clamshells & to-go containers
All polystyrene (Styrofoam™ and similar) food service products
|Single-use plastic bottles (water, soda, juices)||
|Single-use plastic-wrapped condiments, sauces, and seasonings (butter, jelly, peanut butter, creamers, sugars, salt, pepper, etc)||
|Individually-packaged items with bulk alternatives (napkins, oyster crackers, individually wrapped fresh baked goods, mints, toothpicks, etc)
Single-use hot beverage packets unnecessarily packaged in plastic (Instant Noodles, K-Cups, plastic-wrapped tea bags, etc)
Pre-packaged plastic-wrapped retail items (chip bags, granola bar wrappers, candy bar wrappers, water/soda bottles, toiletries, etc)***
|Plastic shopping bags||
|Plastic trash and recycling bags|
|Single-use plastics used in academic settings (e.g. lab equipment)*|
|Single-use plastics necessary for health or safety purposes (e.g. medical plastics)*|
Compute your investment on reusables vs your expenses on plastic
To analyze the costs and benefits of shifting to using reusable products, use the Rethink Disposable Cost Benefit Calculation
Examples of initiatives to apply in your school
▪ Cafeteria Culture
▪ PLAN’s Plastic-free Campus Manual
▪ PLAN’s Reusable To-go Container Guide
▪ PLAN’s Creative Reuse on Campus
▪ PLAN’s Flow Don’t Throw
▪ PLAN’s Move Out Manual
▪ PLAN’s Free and Thrift Store Manual
We also recommend rethinking your plastics and waste pipeline and how it extends towards your local community. Waste management should always be sustainable on a local scale. Not all communities are equipped with the facilities required to manage the waste they produce, and most of our waste, even after segregating, still ends up in landfill. To find out more, check out these resources:
Incorporate these announcements in letters or presentations into your:
▪ Staff Meetings
▪ Office Operations
▪ Class Instructions
▪ PTA meetings
Publish your updates on your website, school social media accounts, school paper, or even your local community’s paper.
Check out plasticfreecampus.org’s engagement guide
Including plastics education in your curriculum will ensure that students will gain a deeper understanding of the overall problem.
Recommended Outline for a Plastics 101 course
▪ What is Plastic?
▪ Why is plastic problematic?
▪ What does plastic contaminate?
▪ Types of Plastic
▪ History of Plastic and its Life Span
▪ Cultural, Social, Environmental, and ▪ Health Implications
▪ Plastics Trail and Globalization
▪ What are its implications on developing countries?
▪ False Solutions and Real Solutions
Resources from the US:
Plastic Pollution Coalition‘s Knowledge Bank of Educational Curriculums per Level
5 GYRES’ NextGen Educational Curriculum
NAMEPA’s Marine Plastic Pollution Educational Curriculums
Resources from other Regions:
Wasteless India’s kNOw Plastic
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung in cooperation with Break Free From Plastic’s Plastic Atlas
In English UK
In English US
Examples of Campaign Activities:
Gallifrey Foundation’s Plastics Pipeline Infographics
CEH’s Healthier Food Serviceware Infographic
CEH’s Ten Reasons to Wash More Dishes
PLAN’s Hierarchical Ethical Guide to SWAG (Stuff We All Get)
Break Free From Plastic‘s Infographics Bank
Plastic Pollution Coalition’s Graphics Bank
Hold plastic-free events and activities
Submit your calendar to us and document your progress!
Do a Brand Audit in your school using this toolkit to identify the top corporate polluters and hold them accountable.