Executive Order 77 - Reducing Plastic Waste On Campus

Radford University's Plastic Reduction Plan in alignment with Executive Order 77

In March 2021, Governor Northam signed Executive Order 77 requiring all state institutions to cease buying, selling, and distributing the following plastics: disposable plastic bags, single-use plastic and polystyrene food service containers, plastic straws and cutlery, and single-use plastic water bottles by July 21, 2021. These product cessation efforts are part of a longer-term single-use plastic reduction effort guided by EO77 and align with the work of RU’s President’s Task Force on Sustainability to develop a new RU Sustainability & Climate Action Plan.

Over the past two months Radford University’s EO77 Working Group - comprised of representatives from University Services, Dining Services, Facilities Management, Housekeeping Services, Procurement, Environmental Health and Safety, and Sustainability - have been meeting regularly to craft a cessation plan, alternative strategies, develop resources, and create educational opportunities to help guide the University community through this transition. We recognize that there will likely be a significant amount of adjustments across campus and we appreciate your willingness to work alongside us through this process. Over the next few weeks we will go live with various resources to assist in the transition. Here are some important dates and milestones to remember:

July 21: Immediate Cessation Impacted Items

EO77 calls for the cessation of "buying, selling, and distributing" of  the following items after July 21, 2021: 
  • Plastic Cutlery (alternatives include reusable or compostable cutlery)
  • Plastic + polystyrene food containers (alternatives include reusable or compostable food containers)
  • Plastic Straws (alternatives include compostable straw or sippy-cup lids)
  • Single-use Plastic Bags (alternatives include reusable bags or paper bags)
  • Plastic Water Bottles (alternatives include reusable bottles, hydration stations or aluminum cans)

After July 21, Radford University employees are not to purchase any of these items. You may use your existing inventory of these items and then replace them with an acceptable alternative. 

Plastics Pollution Reduction Plan

Per EO77, Radford University will develop a Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan to phase out and eliminate the buying, selling, or distribution of other non-medical single use plastic and expanded polystyrene from campus operations, targeting a 25% reduction per year.

  • 25 percent reduction by December 31, 2022
  • 50 percent reduction by December 31, 2023
  • 75 percent reduction by December 31, 2024
  • 100 percent reduction by December 31, 2025

Plans will also identify additional needs and opportunities for reducing all solid waste, including plastics and polystyrene, from University operations and facilities, and diverting such waste from landfills through composting, reuse, recycling, and other strategies.

Resources for University groups:

EO77 Overview Presentation [PDF]

This slide deck provides a broad overview of EO77 and details about how it is being implemented at Radford University. The University's Single-use Plastic Cessation Plan was submitted on July 7 and is awaiting DEQ approval.

Single-use Plastic Alternatives [PDF]

  • What's the best alternative? Switch to sustainable, reusable cups, bottles, and dining ware. 
  • What's the next best alternative? Switch to aluminum cans, compostable materials, recycled and recyclable paper and cardboard with the goal to reduce all single-use consumption. 
  • Why eliminate single-use plastic? Only a small percentage of plastic is recycled and the rest ends up in landfills or as litter. Plastic is make with petroleum and doesn't biodegrade. 


Coming Soon: 

Green Events Guide 

Online training video 

For consultation with your department or office, contact: Josh Nease, jnease@radford.edu