I know I'm not a Theo Student
And I didn't get the benefit of Dr. Kearns's speach... but I just would like to point out as a person who fully supports the environmental movement (Have yet to be arrested, but got close once. *grin*) that plastic is not automatically evil.
There are several amazing and life-saving techniques that are possible in the medical community only because of the advent of plastics. The research into those applications of plastics sadly draws at least a portion of its impetus from the commercial sale of plastics as well. So, given the positive applications of plastic, I think it would be irresponsible for the University to no longer support the plastics industry at all.
Now with that said, I agree that a stronger ideal of reduce,reuse, recycle is something that we should all work on as both individuals and as a community.