CAPA, Faculty News, Local Impact

Enck Urges Students to Fight Plastic Waste

During visiting faculty member Judith Enck's presentation, "Turning Our Oceans into Landfills: The Growing Problem of Plastic Pollution," Enck, a former EPA regional administrator, encouraged students to work locally to enact change around single-use plastics. 

Judith Enck

Enck's speech was presented in conjunction with her Fall 2018 Center for the Advancement of Public Action (CAPA) course "Plastic Pollution: What Can We Do About It?"

From 1950 to today, approximately 850 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced, with the majority manufactured since 2004. Single-use plastic, which can last in the environment from hundreds of years, often ends up in oceans, even if it is first discarded on land. Ocean currents, said Enck, "act like a paper shredder" to break down packaging into small pieces that are then consumed by fish and seabirds. 

Enck encouraged a community-by-community approach to combating plastic production and introducing alternative materials. College students, she believes, can be a driving force in this work.

This is solvable, and it's particularly solvable if college students jump in and are leaders on this issue.

Judith Enck

For more highlights from Enck's speech, view Bennington College's Twitter thread.