Student’s Corner

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of headlines about plastic. Everything from the banning of plastic straws to how you need to recycle because cute animals are dying from our waste. What I haven’t seen enough of are articles like this one by Pete Myers, called “Peering into the Plasticene, our future of plastic and plastic waste.” It is the reality check we are all sorely in need of.

The basis of this article? That we are not dealing with our single-use plastic problem properly, namely by allowing the continued production of it.

Scrolling past the plethora of mind-boggling statistics Myers has included in this article, you come across the subheader “Recycling won’t work.” That’s right, that thing we’ve been told to do for years, because it’s “environmentally friendly” and makes up for our single-use consumption, isn’t actually solving anything. Instead, Myers says it “gives us psychological permission to continue on the current path – to continue with single-use plastics.”

Continuing to look for solutions similar to recycling, solutions that ignore the path of exponential growth that plastics are on, will be like patching up a leak with a band-aid. We need to start by attacking the issue at the root of the problem; our love of waste. Only by reducing our single-use consumption and adopting a minimal/zero waste lifestyle will we be able to actually prevent waste from causing harm to our planet and its inhabitants. 

Written by Teddi Shapiro, class of 2019

P.S. Check out this article to learn more about the harmful health impacts of micro-plastics, and this press release to learn more about the harmful climate impacts of micro-plastics!

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