Plastic alternative necessary

Seeking plastic alternatives is key to sustainability.

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Plastic alternative necessary

By Amelia Vasquez, Staff Writer

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In May, a fourth grade class from Kennedy Elementary School presented its project on reducing plastic bags to the City Commission.

This brought Lawrence’s role in plastic waste into the forefront of an important discussion. Michael Steinle, member of the Sustainability Advisory Board, has been tasked with the job of creating a new sub-committee with the goal of completing a 360 degree analysis of the economic, social and environmental impacts that plastic use has on our city.

“The bottom line is,” Steinle, said “people have to convey their food in some fashion, and we have to point them in directions that are sustainable, and plastic bags really aren’t that…We can use market forces to get people to do the right thing.”

AP Environmental Science teacher Lisa Ball wants to see plastic waste reduced.

Something needs to change.”

— Lisa Ball, science teacher

, some people are careless about their plastic use,” said Ball, who also sponsors environmental club. Ball talks about her plastic bag use: “I definitely strive to use as little as possible, I try to minimize it, but there are certain cases where it is inevitable.”

Biologists have identified 200 “dead zones” around the globe, bodies of water in which life cannot prosper due to rapidly changing environments. The number of marine creatures killed by plastic entanglement grows every year. Right now the average is 100,000. Despite these terrifying figures, plastic has only been available on a large-scale commercial level for 60 years.

American cities and states like California, Chicago and even Lawrence have been eager to look into greater regulations of plastic products in the last few years.

However, after the proposed bill that would regulate plastic bag use, House Bill 3529, died in the Senate, hopes for wide scale reform has been loss.

Our responsibility now, as citizens and constituents, is to not let this momentum die. Committing to everyday activism and environmental consciousness is important. We must be proactive on this issue.