Column: Reduce plastic bag waste in schools

Column%3A+Reduce+plastic+bag+waste+in+schools

The Newtonite

[media-credit id=25 align=”alignleft” width=”290″] Junior John Palumbo uses the recycle bin outside the cafeteria today during lunch. There should be more recycle bins in the cafeteria to incent students to recycle more.
by Connor Vasu
Name a product you use for a few minutes and then throw out, day after day after day. Plastic bags and school lunch trays fit this description.
By tossing out plastic bags, we are harming our ecosystem and the thousands of marine animals that die every year from our negligence.
Our society needs to curb our addiction to plastic bags. We can start by implementing incentives at this school. We should attempt to increase recycling in the school by placing more recycling bins in the cafeteria.
Although throwing out just one plastic bag may not seem like a big deal, 10 percent of all plastic produced worldwide ends up in the ocean every year, according to Greenpeace. Much of that goes into what is now called the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch, a field of toxic plastic waste the size of Texas. As a result, thousands of marine animals die every year as a result of ingesting plastic bags.
Producing plastic bags is also harmful to the environment. The energy needed to make 14 plastic bags is equal to the energy it takes to drive a car one mile. So, not only does disposing of plastic bags harm the environment, creating them does as well.
To reduce our plastic waste, students should bring in cloth bags or reusable plastic containers to school. However, for people to change their minds, students need to be more aware of the harm that throwing out plastic bags should do. Putting up posters to increase awareness would reduce waste in the school and incent students to make a different decision.
Students should realize that plastic bag waste is a major problem and that reducing plastic waste in school should be a priority.