Yale eliminates single-use plastic water bottles at Commencement 2019

Yale students at commencement ceremonies
May 17, 2019

Yale’s 318th Commencement will be a bit more “green” than it has in the past, owing to a reduction in single-use plastic water bottles. In previous years, Yale distributed more than 300 cases of individual plastic water bottles, many of which were left unopened on Old Campus after the ceremonies had concluded. In an effort to limit waste this year, Yale is eliminating 11,000 single-use bottles. Instead, honorees and guests are encouraged to bring their own reusable bottles or use compostable cups at six different “hydration stations” in and around Old Campus during Commencement weekend.

“[In addition] colleges and schools are working to provide water before their processions in environmentally sensitive ways,” said Heather Calabrese, Director of Communications and University Events.  As it is the first year of this effort, Yale expects to reduce plastic waste, and learn from the experience in order to improve waste reduction efforts next year.

Yale is committed to building a more sustainable world. By doing what we do best—integrating science, the humanities, and our community—Yale creates, tests and adopts innovative solutions to the environmental and social challenges we all face.