UCLA Policy 809 : Single-Use Plastics
I. PURPOSE & SCOPE
In recognizing the detrimental impacts of single-use plastics on ecosystems and communities, that plastic never degrades, and that only a small percentage of plastic is successfully recycled, this Policy in accordance with UC Policy on Sustainable Practices, is intended to decrease UCLA’s collective impact by reducing the number of plastics that are purchased, sold, and distributed on UCLA owned and leased property (“UCLA Property”).
This Policy applies to:
- Foodservice Facilities, Retail Stores, and vending machines on University Property;
- UCLA and non-affiliate individuals and groups selling and/or distributing food and/or beverages on UCLA Property, including at meetings and events;
- Third-party vendors selling and/or distributing food and/or beverages on University Property.
For the purposes of this Policy:
Dine-in Facilities means Foodservice Facilities that offer onsite dining including facilities located within food courts and facilities with indoor and/or adjacent outdoor seating.
Event means any planned gathering, including but not limited to celebrations, dances, lectures, forums, performances, rallies, social gatherings, concerts, speaker presentations, conferences, and programs or activities sponsored by University units in the course of fulfilling their University mission.
Foodservice Facilities means restaurants, cafes, or similar places in which food or drink is prepared, packaged, served, or sold for consumption on premises or elsewhere (not intended to include individual apartment kitchens).
Foodware Accessory Items means all types of items usually provided alongside food in containers and cups, including but not limited to utensils, chopsticks, napkins, cup lids, cup sleeves, food or beverage trays, condiment containers and saucers, straws, stirrers, and toothpicks.
Foodware Items means products that are used to serve or transport ready-to-consume food or beverages, including but not limited to cups, bowls, plates, and hinged containers. This does not include prepared prepackaged foods, sealed food that is mass produced by a third party vendor off the premises for resale on University Property (e.g., prepackaged sandwiches resold in campus stores).
Healthy Alternative is defined in Sections 2 and 3 of the UC Healthy Vending Policy Nutrition Standards based on the ingredients and nutritional value of food items and beverages.
Locally Compostable means products that can be composted in the local facilities that provide service to the campus. Acceptable products will vary by local composting facility and include but are not limited to products made of plastic, paper, wood, and bamboo. Compostable products must meet the criteria outlined in the UC Sustainable Procurement Guidelines.
Locally Recyclable means products that can be recycled by the local facilities that provide service to the campus. Acceptable products will vary by facility.
Marine Degradable means products made of material that has the ability to completely biodegrade under marine environmental conditions, including aerobic marine waters or anaerobic marine sediments, within 120 days, leaving behind no toxic substances or residue. Plastic products, whether petroleum or biologically based, are not considered marine degradable.
Plastic Bags means a single-use carry-out bag, regardless of the thickness of the plastic material, made of plastic that is provided by a Foodservice Facility or Retail Store to a customer. This does not include bags that are Locally Compostable.
Retail Store means facility or booth where merchandise is available for purchase or giveaway.
Reusables means products that are used to serve or transport ready-to-consume food or beverages, including but not limited to cups, bowls, plates, and hinged containers that are durable and intended for multi-use.
To-go Facilities means Foodservice Facilities, including Retail Stores, which offer food that is primarily taken to-go and consumed off the premises.
III. POLICY STATEMENT
In order to reduce single-use plastics, UCLA will require the compliance of the provisions outlined below.
Requests for exemptions to the required provisions due to hardship should be sent to the Zero Waste Taskforce via the Office of Sustainability (contact firstname.lastname@example.org) which will grant exemptions or work with the requester to identify solutions. Such exemptions will be reported publicly at least annually by the Task Force via the sustainability website.
Foodservice Facilities, Retail Stores, third-party vendors, and UCLA and non-affiliate individuals and groups that sell and/or distribute food and/or beverages on UCLA Property are required to:
A. By January 1, 2021
- Eliminate Plastic Bags.
- Replace disposable single-use plastic Foodware Accessory Items with Reusables or Locally Compostable alternatives for all Foodservice Facilities, meetings and events.
- Replace single-use plastic Foodware Items with Reusable or Locally Compostable alternatives for To-go Facilities.
- Eliminate the sale and free distribution of single-use plastic water and beverage bottles and non-recyclable water containers and provide reusable alternatives during all indoor events with fewer than 100 attendees. This includes, but is not limited to, internal and external catering and distribution related to meetings, events, or other commercial or non-commercial activities.
B. By October 1, 2021
- Eliminate the sale and free distribution of single-use plastic water and beverage bottles and non-recyclable water containers and provide reusable alternatives at Foodservice Facilities and all indoor and outdoor meetings and events including large events with greater than 100 attendees. This includes, but is not limited to, internal and external catering and distribution related to meetings, events, or other commercial or non-commercial activities.
- Replace single-use plastic Foodware Items with Reusable or Locally Compostable alternatives for all Dine-in and To-go Facilities with indoor and/or outdoor associated seating.
C. By September 1, 2023
Eliminate the sale and free distribution of single-use plastic water and beverage bottles and non-recyclable water containers and provide reusable alternatives at Retail Stores, and all vending machines on University Property. UCLA will prioritize the installation of hydration stations to support this transition and avoid a shift to less healthy alternatives.
D. Prepackaged and Sealed Food
When selecting foods that are prepared and packaged by a third party vendor off premises for resale on UCLA Property and constitutes a full or near-full meal (e.g. packaged sandwiches or salads resold in campus stores, individually packaged pastries, etc.), vendors will be required to utilize Locally Compostable or Locally Recyclable packaging options. This does not include packaged snack foods or frozen meals.
Transition from bioplastics to marine degradable materials, for items where reasonable marine degradable alternatives exist.
Food and beverage providers, as well as concessions and events, are to provide reasonable alternatives to single-use plastic products. If these alternatives do not fit the needs of people with disabilities, a small stock of single-use plastics (including, but not limited to, plastic-type straws) should be maintained and made readily available for individuals who need them either at the point of service/cashier; or upon request at dine-in facilities.
G. UCLA Departments/Units
UCLA departments/units will identify and reduce the use of single-use plastics that are not explicitly outlined above, including, but not limited to, poly-bagged products, plastic films and wraps, and plastic packaging.
H. Applicable Regulations
UCLA departments/units and affiliated individuals and groups must comply with applicable laws and regulations related to this Policy.
Since single-use plastic is a pervasive, University-wide issue, each member of the UCLA community is responsible for being familiar with this Policy and doing their best to identify and remove unnecessary plastics from University Property.
The following campus departments and groups have specific responsibilities with respect to implementing this Policy.
A. Departments that Operate Foodservice Facilities and Catering
Departments that operate Foodservice Facilities and catering, including but not limited to Housing & Hospitality, ASUCLA, and UCLA Health will be responsible for implementing the applicable requirements as outlined in this Policy. This includes identifying alternatives to single-use plastics and utilizing those alternatives in daily operations.
Departments/units are responsible for complying with this Policy as it applies to their activities and operations.
C. UCLA Affiliated Individuals and Groups
UCLA affiliated individuals and groups are responsible for complying with this Policy as it applies to their activities on UCLA Property such as organizing Events.
D. Third Party Vendors and Non-Affiliated Individuals and Groups
Third party vendors and non-affiliated individuals and groups are responsible for complying with this Policy as it applies to their activities on UCLA Property. If a third party vendor’s current lease or contract does not allow UCLA to require the vendor to comply with the Policy, the implementation of this Policy will occur when beginning new leases or contracts or renewing existing leases or contracts unless such renewal is pursuant to a renewal option exercised by a third party vendor.
This Policy does not apply to film shoots or photo shoots craft services due to the mobile and transitory nature of that operation. Film or photo shoots are expected to follow the guidelines presented in the Green Production Guide. The Events Office will work with film makers to make recommendations in reducing single-use plastic while filming on campus.
E. UCLA Health
UCLA Health is responsible for complying with this Policy for all items not used directly in patient care, and excluding prescribed Oral Nutritional Supplements and Enteral Nutrition Products.
F. Zero Waste Task Force
The Zero Waste Task Force of the Sustainability Committee will be responsible for developing procedures and implementation guidelines (https://www.sustain.ucla.edu/single-use-plastic-policy/) for this Policy as well as considering future changes to the Policy.
/s/ Beck, Michael
Administrative Vice Chancellor - Administrative Vice Chancellor's Office