Break Free From Plastic Commitment

In November 2019, President Eastman signed the Break Free From Plastic Pledge, and the Commitment was enacted January 1st, 2020. In October 2022, the Break Free From Plastic Pledge was re-signed by President Annarelli to be implemented throughout the 2022-2023 academic year.

Eckerd College Zero Waste Event Guide-2.pdf

This Commitment prohibits faculty, staff, and students from using College funds to purchase unnecessary single-use plastics, such as single-serve beverage bottles, plates, utensils, cups, shopping bags, packing material, plasticated name tags, balloons, and more. Please note that this commitment does not apply to funds used to support teaching or professional productivity, as well as to single-use plastic related to health and safety precautions or as needed by individuals with different abilities or dietary restrictions. However, we do encourage switching to non-plastic alternatives for these items. Unfortunately, since there is no industrial composter in our area, biodegradable plastic items are not considered an appropriate alternative at this time. 

All Eckerd College staff, faculty, students, club heads, and other interested individuals are encouraged to utilize the Eckerd College Zero Waste Event Guide created by Reduce Single Use and the ECOS Environmental Responsibility Committee. This guide gives an overview to how to host and promote a zero waste event, a detailed list of alternatives and campus contacts, specific tips, and much more. 

2022-2023 BFFP Commitment Implementation Plan

Applies to purchases completed after the listed implementation date. Previously purchased items can continue to be used until the stock is depleted. 


Plastic Bags: A single-use, carry-out bag made of plastic material.

Foodware Accessory Items: Single-use plastic items typically provided with food including but not limited to utensils, cup lids, condiment containers and packets, straws, and stirrers. Straws can be waived for accessibility reasons.

Beverage Bottles: Any beverage served in a single-serve plastic disposable bottle, including but not limited to water, soda, and juice bottles, boxes or pouches. Can be waived in emergency situations. Glass and metal containers are permitted as are large multi-serve plastic containers such as 2L pop bottles or gallon jugs. 

Hot Beverage Packets: Any single-serve hot beverage packet wrapped plastic, including but not limited to, K-Cups, plastic-wrapped tea bags, and hot-chocolate pouches. 

Foodware Items: Disposable single-use plastic products that are used to serve, preserve, and transport ready-to-consume food and beverages, including but not limited to cups, bowls, plates, and containers. 

Party Supplies: Many party supplies tend to be single-use plastic, including balloons, glitter, glowsticks, and more. All of these can be replaced with long-term alternatives that are better for the planet and are more cost effective. 

Packaging and Shipping Materials: Single-use plastic packaging and shipping materials, including but not limited to tape, packing peanuts, bubble mailers, and bubble wrap. Packaging provided by shippers are exempt.

Certified Compostable Single-Use Plastic Items: Often certified compostable plastic materials are made from a combination of plant-based materials and recycled or virgin plastic, but do not adequately degrade in the compost that we have on campus nor is there an industrial composter in Pinellas County. Therefore, these items still act as single-use plastic items in the landfill and environment. These items will be permitted when industrial composting is available to the Eckerd College community.

Professional Materials: Includes plasticated and disposable name badges, giveaway items, and banners. 

Plastic Alternatives

In order to better support campus departments in transitioning away from single-use plastic items outlined in the Pledge, our team and the Eckerd Office of Sustainability have created a comprehensive guide to alternatives for commonly used single-use plastics across campus.

Plastic Alternatives

For more resources, visit: