Updated On May 15, 2020 - 2:01pm

UC Packaging Foam Ban Takes Effect

UC Procurement Update

In a continuing effort to meet its Zero Waste goal, the university has prohibited the sale, procurement and distribution of packaging foam as of Jan. 1, 2020. The ban applies systemwide, with the exception of laboratory or medical products.

FOAM BAN SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCES WASTE

According to the EPA, containers and packaging make up a major portion of municipal solid waste, totaling about 30% of all municipal solid waste in 2017. Unlike cardboard and paper packaging, Polystyrene (like Styrofoam) and other expanded plastic foams are especially difficult to recycle and most municipalities do not provide curbside recycling of these materials. Replacing foam packing with alternative packaging will make a significant impact on reducing waste, particularly in the areas of furniture and IT equipment.

FUTURE RFPs WILL INFORM POTENTIAL SUPPLIERS OF BAN

As a result of 2019 improvements to the UC Sustainable Practices Policy, procurement and contracting services across UC already allocate 15% of the points utilized in evaluating Requests for Proposals to sustainable practices. Future contracting activities will now articulate the foam ban to potential suppliers. Together, these policies help the University deliver more sustainable solutions from our supply chain.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

Interested in learning more about reducing waste and making more sustainable purchases? Here’s a start:

  • The UC Sustainable Procurement webpage – a wealth of information including a Packaging Foam Ban Implementation Toolkit for campuses.
  • Ecomedes – a software platform that provides sustainability data on specific products, making it easier for shoppers to make environmentally conscious buying decisions on an individual basis.
  • Lab personnel – visit My Green Lab, a non-profit organization committed to environmentally-responsible lab practices.

For questions, please contact: [email protected]