Zero Waste Eliminating Single-Use Plastics

Eliminating plastic utensils
Shift to Metal & Compost:

While single-use plastics pollute our oceans and land, UCR is making efforts to shift away from plastic products to more easily recycled metal and compostable products. As of Spring 2020, UCR has switched out certain plastic water bottles for aluminum cans in the Scotty Convenience Store. Dining plans to extend the availability of canned water to dining locations as production increases. In addition, Dining Services has made great strides to eliminate plastic from several dining locations by replacing the plastic bags and utensils with compostable material and eliminating plastic tops on to-go containers. 

Hydration station: 

Supplying fresh, filtered water into the drinking container of your choice, the hydration stations, ultimately, serve to reduce the number of plastic water bottles used and thrown away. UCR plans to increase the number of these stations throughout campus in the coming years. Find the current locations of these hydration stations in the Water Hydration Map, provided by UCR Healthy Campus. 

For students interested in contributing to the sustainability initiatives at UCR, reusable water bottles can be purchased directly from the campus store, providing students with a practical and eco-friendly option to further reduce their reliance on single-use plastics.


In the pursuit of becoming a zero-waste campus, UCR is actively exploring sustainable alternatives, with a focus on biodegradable options for students. Initiatives include the transition from PET cups to PLA alternatives and the ongoing testing of both PLA and paper straws as eco-friendly substitutes for plastic. Furthermore, efforts are underway to introduce reusable utensils in coffee shops, scheduled to be available to students starting in Summer 2024. Learn more about this initiative.