Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.39
Liaison Phil Valko
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Washington University in St. Louis
IN-32: Single-Use Plastic Ban

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Cassandra Hage
Sustainability Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution banned or eliminated the on-site sales and distribution of at least one type of single-use disposable plastic?:

A brief description of the single-use disposable plastics that have been banned or eliminated:

Washington University became the first North American university to ban the sale of bottled water on its West, North, and Danforth campuses in 2009. Five years after the ban was rolled out, purchasing order history for bottled beverages across these campuses showed bottled water purchases fell by 86%, a savings of over 125,000 bottles of water per year. Additionally, an unanticipated benefit was observed: declines in overall bottle purchases, with a nearly 40% decline in total bottled drink purchases, and a 50% decline in carbonated beverages purchased, resulting in a total reduction of over 567,000 plastic bottles annually.

In the years following the ban, University-led infrastructure and policy changes have helped make the transition to personal refillable water bottles feasible for students, staff, and faculty on campus. Highly effective changes include an ongoing commitment to installing and retrofitting water bottle refill stations, providing free water bottles to incoming students, and the creation of campus partnerships committed to holding low or zero-waste events. The ban has attracted national attention from universities and colleges wanting to follow suit.

Discouraging the use single-use plastics and other food serviceware is one of many strategies for reducing waste and conserving resources.

Website URL where information about the single-use disposable plastic ban(s) is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.