Plastic shopping bags have left the building at the Bay Tree Bookstore


The Bay Tree Bookstore has announced that effective Wednesday, Sept. 18, plastic shopping bags will no longer be offered during check-out in the store. 

A new sustainable and reusable UCSC branded bag will be offered to customers for a price of $0.99. To kick-off the Bookstore’s reusable shopping bag launch, 5000 bags will be distributed to new freshmen and transfer students during move-in weekend.

UC Santa Cruz continues to strive for zero waste, despite facing challenges posed by international recycling market constrictions.  Zero waste is defined by the UC system by two metrics. The first is reducing total landfill generation by 25 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030. The second metric is diverting at least 90 percent of campus waste away from landfill, by recycling and composting.

Removing plastic bags from the Bay Tree Bookstore is a very visible step that demonstrates the campus commitment to zero waste. By encouraging folks to bring their own bags and providing reusable canvas bags instead, the Bookstore is contributing to a zero waste culture on campus. 

Student Environmental Center representatives and student leaders Liane Bauer, Max Perez, and Julia Applerouth were instrumental in bringing student concerns about the utilization of single-use plastics on campus to campus administration.

“Attending a university which embodies the ideals it boasts is extremely important to students,” Bauer said. “That's why it was such a great experience to be able to work with UCSC and CHES staff to take action on the bold UCSC ideals of being a sustainable and soon to be zero waste campus. 

This awesome accomplishment is a testament to the power of collaboration and it highlights the importance of students and staff working together. Despite many obstacles, through the agency of students and the cooperation of staff, UCSC is becoming a better, more sustainable campus every day.”