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Students share their views on plastic waste

  • Students in Mrs. Paul’s class at the Discovery School at Four Corners in Greenfield hold up the letters they wrote containing their concerns about plastic waste and its impact on the environment. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Students at the Discovery School at Four Corners write letters about their views on plastic waste. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Students at the Discovery School at Four Corners in Greenfield get ready to mail the letters they wrote. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Published: 4/3/2020 1:53:38 PM

Editor’s note: Third- and fourth-grade students at the Discovery School at Four Corners have been learning about the impact that plastic waste is having on our oceans and our planet. In response to what they learned, the students in Mrs. Paul’s and Mrs. Rancourt’s classes decided to write letters to spread the word about the problem and ask for help in reducing plastic waste. With a strong focus on single-use plastics, Mrs. Rancourt’s students wrote to the director of food and nutrition services of the Greenfield School Department. They asked the food service department to eliminate the use of single-use plastic utensils and straws in the district’s cafeterias. Students in Mrs. Pauls class wrote letters to a number of individuals and groups they thought might be able to help reduce plastic waste. The students wrote to Channel 22 News, Greenfield School Department’s Food and Nutrition Services, President Donald Trump, Mayor Roxann Wedegartner, Greenfield Community Television, Superintendent Jordana Harper, Greenfield Garden Cinemas, the Massachusetts Legislature, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and the Greenfield Recorder. Students are also taking steps in their daily lives to reduce the amount of plastic they use. For example, both classrooms have started to use their own metal utensils during lunch in the cafeteria. The students are hopeful that their letters will inspire others to learn more about the issue, take steps to reduce single-use plastic waste in their communities and spread the word.

A problem getting worse

Did you know that scientists estimate that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish (by weight). It takes about 450 years for plastic to fully break down. That means when your great great great great great grandchildren are alive there will still be plastic from 2020. Plastic pollutes our oceans and harms humans so read on to learn about what alternatives you can use to reduce plastic pollution.

One reason we need to reduce plastic is that it is polluting our oceans. Plastic from landfills overflows into the ocean. Marine life eats a lot of the plastic. Some of the animals that eat the plastic are turtles, whales and seals. Sea lions/seals get tangled in rope and plastic bags. Also 4 to 12 metric tons of plastic enter the ocean every year.

Plastic harms people too. Some people burn plastic as a fire starter. They have to because there’s so much plastic around them. When they burn plastic they inhale the fumes and can get diseases. Also people burn plastic to get rid of it, but it just increases climate change. Plastic is made out of oil, so even when it sits in the sun, it leaks greenhouse gasses, which increase climate change and global warming.

Here are some things you can do! First, use reusable items like utensils and bags. They can be made out of metal, cloth and even plants. Second, you can reuse single-use plastic bags, forks and spoons, instead of just using them once. Third recycle! You can recycle things like plastic yogurt cups, forks and spoons, jars and bottles. You can pick up plastic litter on the road (with gloves) and see if it’s reusable. You an also find alternatives to plastic when you go shopping. Don’t leave plastic on the beach or around!

This is a problem that is only getting worse, and I know you can help! Please get involved now!

Derek Scotera

We need this to stop

There are four to twelve million tons of plastic that goes in the ocean each year! It’s harming marine life. Plastic is also harming humans. There are improvements that can be made. You should use less plastic, it will help us out.

Plastic is killing marine life! Marine life is mistaking plastic for food. Take turtles for instance, they mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and then that can kill them.

Whales have had lots of plastic in them from opening their mouth and some beached whales have plastic in them too. When plastic breaks down in to smaller pieces, then smaller animals can eat it. It takes about 450 years to break down fully. The plastic that is here now ill most likely be here for our great-great-great-great-grandchildren.

Plastic can be harmful to us too!

Whenever we eat fish or other sea creatures we can consume plastic and that’s very very unhealthy. Plastic has oils and other fossil fuels in it that aren’t healthy. If you don’t want to get hurt then help stop plastic.

Lots of kids care and they’re showing it. You can do something about it too. Help show how bad plastic is. If you make a difference others may too. We need this to stop!

Scientists have made bioplastic from shrimp shells and we can help scientists who want to make alternatives to plastic by asking the government to support them and their research. You can also stop using as much plastic by weaving single use plastic bags into reusable plastic bags. You also can get a reusable water bottle so you don’t have to use multiple plastic ones.

I’m hoping I informed you on this problem of how plastic is killing marine life, and harming us too. Please help stop single use plastic from being on earth!


Plastic is taking over

Plastic is harming us and sea life. When plastic was first invited it was supposed to help animals but now we use say too much and it harms animals. Using less plastic will keep our oceans safer and cleaner.

Plastic is killing ocean animals. This is happening because animals are thinking it is food and eating it and dying. Animals are also getting stuck in plastic with no help but their baby’s. The amount of plastic.

Getting in ocean is 4 to 12 metric tons a year.

Humans are getting harmed from plastic also. Plastic harms humans because fish eat plastic, we eat fish. Humans also get plastic even when there around it! (according to National Geographic) 57000 to 74000 miro plastic get in humans each year.

Climate change is making our house a.k.a. earth, hotter and hotter. This phenomenon, climate change is happening because of green house gas. Green house gas is made by cars, planes, boats and plastic. Climate change is related to plastic (that’s why I put climate change in this).

Plastic is taking over. (That’s why I wrote this) but this paragraph is about alternatives. The alternatives we have are limited but they are good materials. Paper, metal, plant based, sometimes wood. We shouldn’t just ban all plastic no! no! No! no! we should use it for stuff that last for a really long time and not use for straws, bags to go, boxes, “silverware” because you only use those things for like 10 minutes max, 1 hour (and then throw it away).

I hope you use this facts and knowledge and hopefully you report this.

Declan Joyce

Make the planet a better place

Did you know that plastic takes 400 to 450 years to fully break down? People can use less plastic and I want the Recorder to make it known. It’s killing marine life. It’s also killing the ocean. It’s also hurting people too. We should minimize how much plastic we use.

One reason that we should use less plastic is plastic is killing sea life. Over 4.5 million metric tons of plastic gets into our oceans each year. Birds think it’s food and they eat it and die. It also gets stuck around sea turtles. 90 percent of sea birds have been found with plastic in them.

It’s harmful to us and adds to climate change. When you burn it releases greenhouse gases. Also just leaving it in the sun will also release greenhouse gases It’s harmful to us because it could cause cancer or eyesight loss.

How you can use less plastic? You can use reusable bags. Don’t use single use plastics. Get a hydro flask. Don’t use to-go boxes, instead bring your own to-go boxes. Also an alternative to plastic spoons and forks are to buy metal spoons and forks or metal straws, or paper straws. You can join a river clean up.

We need to act! Reduce the plastic that you use and make the planet a better place.

Dylan Collins

Spread the word about plastic

Did you know 4 to 12 million tons of plastic get into the ocean each year?! This is dangerous and we need to stop killing the animals and peoples’ earth. Companies need to know so they spread the word and help stop using plastic. We all should stop using single use plastic.

Plastic is harming ocean and marine life. Animals think plastic is food and it can get stuck around animals necks. If animals eat it it can hurt their stomachs and they can die. Plastic is also harmful to people. Sometimes there is BPA which can cause caner. In addition, if you burn plastic it can make you sick. You can find better alternatives to plastic such as to-go boxes and utensils made out of metal, cardboard or plant. We can stop using paint on plastic for a decoration because it is a waste. It’s not just us in the world, we need to do something now!

Animals have feelings too but most of all they need a home. Spread the word any way you can.


We need to use less plastic

Did you know Americans throw away 35 billion plastic bottles a year? People can make a difference if they know about this problem. I want you to use less plastic and be aware that this is happening.

Plastic is affecting humans, animals and the places we live. One place it is affecting is the coral reefs by killing them. It is also killing fish because the fish eat the plastic. Humans are breathing in the plastic we burn. Plastic is affecting everything so we need to use less.

There are different tings we can use that are not plastic. We could use paper and cardboard. We could also use metal forks and spoons. Another thing people are using is shrimp shells and molding them into cups that look just like plastic but aren’t plastic. You can help by support research like this. You an join a river clean p and bring our own reusable bag shopping.

We need to start using less plastic now! If we don’t start reducing how much plastic we use by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Landfills are growing with plastic, if we use less the landfills will slow their growth. Almost every piece of plastic ever made still exists.

We need to use less plastic now.

Maia Christensen

A big problem

Did you know that millions of tons of plastic end up on our beaches each year?

We need to use less plastic to keep our oceans clean and use reusable materials instead. Keep reading to find out now!

People should less plastic. A lot of plastic ended up in the seas. We should not do that because if we do almost all the sea animals will die.

So here’s how that plastic ended up in the seas. When people throw their plastic in the streets a bit later the wind pushes the plastic into the sewers. Then it goes to the rivers and to the seas. For example plastic that blew into the sea ends up eaten by fish because they think it’s food.

Some ways we can reduce plastic are to use metal containers and reusable bags. We can also use straws and utensils made from plants. There are many different materials instead of plastic at the grocery store we can use cloth bags.

We can all see how big this problem is! Please use the ideas you just read about here to know now you can help!

Chel Lanza

Drowned in plastic

Our planet is drowning in plastic. People everywhere should reduce plastic. We need to use less because it is harming human health, marine life and we need to make a change. Over 35 million plastic bottles and 100 million plastic bags make it into the ocean every year. That’s enough to circle the earth 4 times. We have to help.

Plastic is harming humans. Just making plastic can be very dangerous. During the burning process the plastic releases toxins, that if breathed in can lead to dangerous diseases like cancer. Also, when it gets in the ocean, the fish eat the microplastics and then we eat the fish, we can get microplastic in our bodies Finally, plastic can increase climate change. When we burn or make it, we either burn fossil fuels and make carbon dioxide or we use oil to make it. Also, the landfills lead greenhouse gases and it can also leach harmful chemicals that can poison nearby groundwater that we drink.

In addition, it is killing a lot of marine life. Scientists have predicted that by 2050, the amount of plastic in the ocean will outweigh the amount of fish. Right now, it is estimated that there are 100 million tons of plastic in our oceans around he world. 90 percent of all seabirds have ingested plastic in their lifetime. A study suggests that even 1 piece of plastic can be deadly to a sea turtle. Scientists found that there was a 1 in 5 chance of a sea turtle death.

However, you can make a difference! You can use reusable shopping bags, containers and metal straws and water bottles. You can even use biodegradable or compostable plastic. Harvard scientists have even made plastic from shrimp shells!

If you want to save the world, act now because if we don’t our planet will be drowned in plastic. But we aren’t too late to save it.

Ada Bellemare

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