Stemming the Tide: Taking Action on Campus Against Plastic Pollution

  • Kristy Jones and Laura Hickey
  • Sep 01, 2020
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“Colleges and universities across the United States are making a difference for wildlife and habitats by tackling plastics pollution on campus through best practices and policies to reduce plastic use, and efforts to increase proper recycling.”
— Jessie Ritter, Director of Water Resources and Coastal Policy, National Wildlife Federation

With the average college student producing about 640 pounds of trash each year, campuses need comprehensive waste management programs that provide tracking, reporting, education, awareness, fun, and creativity. Stemming the Tide is for students, clubs, resident advisors, staff, and faculty to use as a resource to get started and tackle plastics on campus.

This guide features smaller, individual actions, and campus-wide engagement campaigns and includes information about the plastics pollution problem, its impacts on humans and wildlife, action ideas, and educational strategies. 

Test your knowledge of how plastic pollution impacts our marine environments.
Test your knowledge of the materials you purchase and use each day.

See the schools featured in Stemming the Tide.

Browse sections of Stemming the Tide:
What is the Plastic Pollution Problem?
Reduce the Use of Plastics on Campus
Recycle, Don’t Trash It
Education and Awareness: How to Get the Word Out

Stemming the Tide: Taking Action on Campus Against Plastic Pollution


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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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