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Reducing single-use plastic consumption

Raising awareness, conducting science, encouraging alternatives

Eckerd College was awarded two consecutive grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program to reduce single-use plastic consumption on campus.

The first project, which was funded through August 2020, established Reduce Single-Use @ Eckerd and raised awareness among students, faculty and staff about the negative environmental impacts of plastic waste, particularly in the ocean habitat that borders our campus, and encouraged use of alternatives to single-use plastic items.

The follow-up project, funded through February 2023, is a collaboration with the University of North Florida to Reduce Single-Use on a public university campus.

In 2022, Eckerd reaffirmed its commitment to the sweeping pledge to prohibit the purchase of most nonessential single-use plastics using College funds, the first of its kind to be enacted in the nation.

Reduce Single-Use Project Website

Taking Action

Reducing single-use plastics at Eckerd College

Student holding bucket of sea water off pier


Courses are now offered at Eckerd that analyze the impacts of marine debris as well as its direct and indirect effects on us and the world’s oceans.

Pile of trash containing plastics


Our project hosts campus cleanups throughout the year to clean the campus, the coastline, and the water at Eckerd.

Reusable water bottle with metal straw


We offer reusable water bottles and umbrellas on Admission tours. Our Fill It Forward initiative rewards students for using their own beverage containers for refills at our pub and café. We now offer boxed water at major events.

Student swinging while holding reusable beverage container


Students and faculty are being encouraged to reduce their plastic consumption through campus-wide plastic-reduction challenges.

Water bottle filling station with reusable water bottle


We’re quantifying plastic consumption data across campus to determine the need for reusables. For example, we are able to show that water bottle filling stations (85 installed so far!) are indeed reducing consumption.

Reusable bottle, container, plate and bamboo utensils


Bamboo plates, utensils, and other reusable alternatives are being provided by the Reduce Single-Use project in fun giveaways to keep the Eckerd community engaged and involved.

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