Engineering Center

Published: Sept. 3, 2019 By

Since the 1950s, approximately 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced worldwide. Only 9 percent of this plastic has been recycled properly and 12 percent has been incinerated, leaving the 79 percent remaining in landfills or polluting our oceans and other fragile ecosystems.

This is why I’m pleased to announce – alongside a host of campus partners and the Ball Corporation – that starting today, the Engineering Center will be the first building on the CU Boulder campus to be 100% plastic-free for single-use beverage containers. 

This includes both of the Gravity Cafe coffee shops and all of the vending machines in the Engineering Center. The coffee shops will begin to stock compostable cups, lids, straws, plates and silverware for our use, and PepsiCo has replaced all beverages in the vending machines with glass or aluminum containers.

In addition, we have been working hard with restaurants and caterers around Boulder to compile a list of vendors who pledge not to use single-use plasticware. This list will be a go-to guide for faculty and staff to use in providing sustainable catering. 

The College of Engineering and Applied Science strives to lead the way in all that we do, and we are excited to be the first building on campus to be plastic-free for beverages. With your help alongside our standing partnerships, we can make an impact in the world we are living in.

Questions about the implementation of this? Email

Bobby Braun is Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU Boulder.