If we want to have a healthy planet, we must reduce our plastic consumption.
As a young person, I believe plastic bottles are the place to start.
The US consumes 60 percent of the world’s plastic bottles despite being only 4.5 percent of the world’s population. For every second that passes, about 1,500 plastic bottles are consumed in the US alone.
Plastic also has a huge carbon footprint due to requiring nonrenewable energy. Not only is it a petroleum based product, but the production, transportation, and storage process takes millions more barrels of oil. By 2050, at least 17 percent of our global greenhouse footprint will be due to plastic.
Recycling is not enough to solve the issue of excessive plastic consumption. In fact, the Town of Sandwich has lost $30 per ton of cans, plastics, and bottles since 2017. This differential in cost amounts to $20,000 a year in which the town loses due to so-called recycling.
On top of the low effective rate for recycling, “recycled” plastic bottles are not used to create new bottles. In actuality, they are only used in clothing, carpet, and building materials. “Recycling” does NOT reduce the overall demand to create new plastic bottles and it takes more energy and resources in the process.
As a first step to solving this issue, I support the Municipal Plastic Bottle Ban which would prohibit the purchase of plastic bottles with taxpayer dollars and ban the sale of plastic bottles on town property.
Town government is supposed to be the leader in our community. As a coastal town, if we want a reduction in our plastic consumption then we must demand our government to follow a more sustainable model.
So as a high school student, I urge you to please support the Municipal Plastic Bottle Ban at this upcoming Special Town Meeting in the fall. We must recognize the adverse effects plastic bottles have on human and environmental health. If we do not begin taking action now, generations like mine will have to face the consequences.
For more information, search our organization Sustainable Practices online and on social media.