Save the Earth: Plastic Problems


Caleb McDonald, Charles Marion, Dylan Wylie, Julian Olvera, Treyanna Williams

If you look around, you’re surrounded by plastic. When we throw away plastic, we’re doing harm to the earth, wildlife, and ourselves. It takes a long time for plastic to decompose, and when it does, it leaches harmful chemicals in the soil and eventually into water sources. Animals can become entangled in plastic. Oftentimes, we burn plastic at landfills, and the chemicals released into the air can cause respiratory problems in humans. No matter how convenient, cheap, or useful plastic can be, the reality is that when we throw it away, it creates problems that outweigh those initial benefits.

If possible, try to recycle plastic at school and at home. Avoid purchasing or using plastic items if there are safer alternatives. For example, if you have a choice between a paper straw and plastic straw, choose the paper straw. You can even ask local restaurants to consider stocking paper straws or to use lids that don’t require straws. The fact-checking website Snopes states that “Starbucks is not relying on paper straws to completely replace plastic straws at their stores. Rather, the company will be expanding their deployment of strawless lids in order to eliminate plastic straw use.”

Recently, Kroger announced that it would stop using plastic bags soon. Unfortunately, an Alabama legislator introduced a bill that made it illegal to ban bans on plastic at the city-level. This means that individual stores and consumers need to take matters in their own hands and just refuse to use plastic. Reusable bags are usually more durable than plastic bags and can be folded to fit in backpacks and purses and easily stored in your car.

For Earth Day 2019, commit to reducing your plastic consumption before it’s too late.