Put Down the Plastic

Regis aims to inspire an environmentally conscious culture through campus sustainability efforts 


Every year, Americans use a lot of water bottles…. about 50 billion of them. Although about a quarter of those bottles are recycled, nearly 38 billion end up in the trash, resulting in more than $1 billion in plastic waste. Regis’ Physical Plant department and the Regis University Student Government Association (RUSGA) Sustainability Committee are working together to increase awareness of common environmental problems, like plastic waste, to inspire an environmentally conscious culture on campus. 

One of the largest sustainability initiatives on campus is Trust the Tap, which resulted in the implementation of 20 water filtration systems placed in buildings across campus. The initiative aims to not only reduce waste but also hopes to increase awareness of the global social justice issues of water privatization and the fundamental right to clean and safe drinking water around the world. 

Mike Redmond, Physical Plant Associate Vice President, explains that Regis hopes to remove bottled water entirely from campus. “Working with the RUSGA Sustainability Committee, we want to ensure that our upcoming spring commencement ceremony is bottled water free, with the overall goal of reducing our carbon footprint,” he said. 

In addition to using refillable water bottles, recycling is another one of Regis’ largest sustainability efforts. “The Regis Northwest Denver Campus recycles over 40 percent of waste generated. That percentage is considerably higher than most universities,” said Redmond.