Students prepare for consequences of a plastic filled world

Two+reusable+bottles+sit+on+a+table+in+the+campus+cafeteria%2C+on+Thursday+Aug.+29.+An+increasing+number+of+students+on+campus+use+Hydro+Flasks%2C++S%27well+bottles+and+Yeti+canteens+to+reduce+their+plastic+usage.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt
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Students prepare for consequences of a plastic filled world

Two reusable bottles sit on a table in the campus cafeteria, on Thursday Aug. 29. An increasing number of students on campus use Hydro Flasks,  S'well bottles and Yeti canteens to reduce their plastic usage. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Two reusable bottles sit on a table in the campus cafeteria, on Thursday Aug. 29. An increasing number of students on campus use Hydro Flasks, S'well bottles and Yeti canteens to reduce their plastic usage. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Two reusable bottles sit on a table in the campus cafeteria, on Thursday Aug. 29. An increasing number of students on campus use Hydro Flasks, S'well bottles and Yeti canteens to reduce their plastic usage. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Two reusable bottles sit on a table in the campus cafeteria, on Thursday Aug. 29. An increasing number of students on campus use Hydro Flasks, S'well bottles and Yeti canteens to reduce their plastic usage. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Christine Hernandez

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Plastic is everywhere and increasingly unavoidable, thus making eco-friendly choices and living sustainably as a student tough.

“Unwanted plastics that are thrown out improperly pose great harm to the environment,” stated chemistry professor, Deanna Franke. “Birds, fish and animals may mistake plastic bits for food, the Great Pacific garbage patch in the ocean is predominantly plastics.”

The current use and over production of plastics, in combination with inadequate disposal, is harming our environment. From the threat of climate change, rising green house gas emissions, deteriorating marine life and all the way down to the disruption of human hormones.

Trash

Plastic bottles and containers fill a trash bin outside the Technology building Thursday, Aug 29. Although recyclable, much of plastic goes unused in landfills. Photo credit: Christine Hernandez

In 2015, approximately 34.5 million tons of plastic waste was generated in the United States and only 9% of that was recycled, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In order to preserve the health and future of all living things on this planet, it is imperative that students make sustainable changes in their daily lives regarding plastic use.

“The earth itself doesn’t care. It is an abiotic, geochemical physical entity,” said environmental science professor, Brian Swartz. “However, for life on Earth, it can most certainly pose problems since plastics affect other organisms as they affect us.”

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A Moorpark student holds his reusable water bottle on Raider Walk during Transfer Day on Thursday, Aug. 29. Personal reusable bottles reduce the overall use of plastic bottles. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Some students are unaware of the issue that disposable plastics cause, while many have already made sustainable changes.

“The current system is something to be worried about,” expressed Franke. “Recent changes such as reducing one time use plastic bags and plastic straws are heading in a better direction.”

Students can make eco-friendly choices that will impact plastic pollution problem of today.

“Students can help in a million different ways,” stated Moorpark College Director of Sustainability, James Pollock. “Being conscious of what we are doing in our own lives that is wasteful, and taking steps to improve on that is also helpful.”

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Freshman Nia Shackelford refills her reusable water bottle during Transfer Day on Raider Walk on Thursday, Aug. 29. According to Shackelford, she uses her bottle because it keeps the water cold, and does not sweat. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Students can reduce their use of plastic and create less plastic pollution by making more sustainable choices on campus.

“This is not an important issue. It is the important issue,” emphasized Pollock. “Climate change effects all of us, and by encouraging people to live Earth friendly lives while they are in college, we can shape the habits students will take with them for the rest of their lives.”

For information regarding the Associated Students Sustainability Committee contact James Pollock by e-mail at [email protected].

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