Single-Use Plastics Policy

UCLA will be plastic-free by 2023

The UC campuses are phasing out single-use plastics as part of a bold commitment to achieve zero waste to landfill, furthering their long-established sustainability goals. The new addition to the UC Policy on Sustainable Practices will transition all UCs away from plastic bags in retail and dining locations and eliminate single-use plastic foodservice items and beverage bottles. UCLA has taken this a step further by passing their own policy with accelerated goals to eliminate single-use plastics from campus months or even years in advance.

The purpose of this policy is to facilitate the transition from single-use plastics to reusable or locally compostable alternatives. Reusables constitute any materials that are durable and intended for multiple uses, such as metal or bamboo. Locally compostable means products that are accepted by the University’s waste hauler, Athens Services, which only includes 100% fiber-based products, but does not include bioplastics. In regards to water and beverage bottles, the goal is to eliminate plastic options altogether by switching to aluminum, glass, or paper.

See plastic that doesn’t belong? Let us know!


UCLA Sustainability, in collaboration with other UC campuses, is continually working on resources to help our community transition away from single-use plastics. The resources below are meant to provide guidance for compliance.

Implementation Guide

The Single-Use Plastics Policy Implementation Guide provides an explanation of all the components of the Policy and resources to help the campus community comply.

The guide is organized in sections for all relevant parties including institutional buyers, foodservice operations, departmental buyers, and student organizations. If you have additional questions, please contact

Presentation & Flyer

The Single-Use Plastics Policy Presentation summarizes the negative impacts of plastics, the Policy language, and necessary definitions and resources for compliance.

With engaging videos and imagery, this presentation is a quick resource for anyone hoping to better understand the Single-Use Plastics Policy or educate others.

You can utilize our Single-Use Plastics Policy Flyer to inform others and provide them with quick links to important resources.

Green Events Guide

The Green Events Guide specifically address how to organize events with sustainability and the Policy in mind. You can have your event Green Events Certified to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability.

Water Dispensing Guide

Use this Water Conversion Flowchart to determine the best way to switch to sustainable water dispensing. If you would like to switch, review the Water Dispensing Options Chart to access the benefits and costs of each sustainable option. For questions, check out the FAQs.

Plastic-free is a global solution

Single-use plastics are a global problem that requires systemic changes to mitigate the negative effects to oceans, wildlife, and human health. Despite our best efforts to recycle, only a small fraction of all plastics end up being recycled and each time their quality depreciates until it can no longer be used at all. Billions of tons of plastic end up in the oceans polluting waterways with chemicals, killing wildlife, and eventually ending up in our food, water, and air. The best solution is to eliminate single-use plastics and prevent them from entering our planet in the first place.