In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, Bellevue College is working on a Break Free from Plastic initiative. The project is led by Gia Lang, the Associated Student Government’s Social Responsibility Representative. According to Lang, in this role she is working “to promote environmental sustainability and social equality on campus through various projects, initiatives and through chairing the Student Environmental Sustainability Fund Committee.” Lang has gotten support for the Break Free from Plastic initiative from “Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN), various faculty groups and the Student Environmental Sustainability Fund.”
The Break Free from Plastic initiative “started as a grassroots movement because I’m very passionate about reducing our campus’ environmental impact. When I researched the harmful environmental and social impacts that plastic waste causes, I knew that I wanted to dedicate my time in student government to mitigate this issue.”
The “initiative seeks to gradually implement waste and plastic-related changes onto campus over time. Once students go on campus, there wouldn’t be a drastic change when going about their daily activities. The initiative seeks to tackle one issue at a time, ultimately leading to a waste-free campus within a few years. The initiative will seek to reduce plastic waste, which could lead to some changes in beverage options, for example.”
There are four key goals to the Break Free from Plastic initiative. The first goal is to have a zero-waste task force of students, faculty, staff and administration. The task force aims to tackle waste issues in Bellevue College. The initiative is also working towards eliminating “all non-essential, non-compostable single-use disposable plastic that have readily available alternatives.” The third goal is to establish a procurement and/or purchasing policy that discusses “the long-term elimination of all non-essential, non-compostable, single-use disposable plastics.” This action item will help Bellevue College create a financial plan for the Break Free from Plastic initiative. Implementation of campus wide systems that facilitate “the proper collection and management of the non-disposable products” is something Lang and her team are also working on.
By the end of spring quarter, Gia Lang is hoping to find a group of students and faculty to get involved in the Break Free from Plastic Campaign, create a resolution in ASG to support the Break Free From Plastic Pledge, form a plastic free/zero-waste task force committee, and have President Locke sign the Break Free From Plastic Pledge.
If you are interested in helping with the Break Free from Plastic Pledge, there are a couple things you can do. You can sign the Break Free From Plastic Pledge petition or you can join the Bellevue College zero-waste task force. If interested in the task force, reach out to Gia Lang at Gia.Lang@bellevuecollege.edu.