Beyond Plastics Activism: Letters to the Editor
Students in Judith Enck's Plastic Pollution: What Can We Do About It? course have written letters to the editor about the need to protect the environment and marine life from the growing problem of plastic pollution.
Enck, a former Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator, will join the College in January 2019 as a Senior Fellow and Visiting Faculty member. She recently launched the Beyond Plastics project as a way to work with college students and community leaders around the country to reduce plastic pollution.
Those interested in receiving periodic updates about the Beyond Plastics project are invited to sign up for more information.
"I was waiting for a hero, but recently realized that we as a community are capable of affecting change for the benefit of all living things," writes Aubrey Elwes '22 in The Argonaut. "Everyone has to be realistic about the amount of plastic used each day. Our world deserves better."
We often utilize single-use plastic packaging such as bags, bottles or polystyrene for just a few minutes, but it remains in the environment for decades or longer.
Aubrey Elwes '22
"A lot of our Nepali products have traditionally been made from biodegradable materials," writes Srichchha Pradhan '22 in The Kathmandu Post. "They are sturdy and environment-friendly. Rather than using those suffocating and weak plastic bags, if we become more responsive to the efforts made by our local markets, we are sure to make that investment of buying a cloth bag. Using cloth bags means we will produce less plastic waste, which will certainly empower our tourism industry."
It is high time that we Nepalis strengthened our own recycling habits, and supported local cleanup efforts and recycling companies.
Srichchha Pradhan '22
"Almost every day we hear in the news, local or otherwise, that single use plastic bags are being banned in small towns, like Brattleboro, and/or big cities like San Francisco," writes Ella Simon '22 in The Bennington Banner. "The reason being, that single use plastic bags are a detriment to the environment."
It's time for all communities, including Bennington, to start adopting plastic bag bans of their own and placing a fee on paper bags.
Ella Simon '22
"I learned a great deal being away at college, among which is my appreciation for the respect our community has for our Island’s ecosystem," writes Ruby Dix '21 in The Martha's Vineyard Times. "At Bennington College in Vermont, I am taking a course on plastic pollution, and have become aware of the damage that plastic pollution causes in both our environment and potentially our health."
I hope our community will continue to use plastic alternatives and be aware of the impacts of small single-use items like nip bottles and single-use creamers.
Ruby Dix '21
"Five hundred million straws are used and discarded every day in the U.S. alone," writes Grace Kenney '22 in The Martha's Vineyard Times. "In the U.S., the consumption of straws could wrap around the earth’s circumference 2.5 times a day. Unfortunately, many straws don’t end up being recycled. Most end up in landfills, littered on the ground, or in the ocean. We need to start doing something, we need to start using less, consuming less, wasting less. Straws are where we can start."
With the increase in sea turtles, it is now more important than ever before that we protect our marine environment.
Grace Kenney '22