Editor: Every single person my age (21) has been forced to confront the fact that we are growing up in a time of climate change and environmental degradation. I grew up in Aurora, and since I’ve been young I’ve been part of clean-ups for the surrounding environment, and I have witnessed the various types of trash strewn about the environment in streets, creeks, and parks. Plastic bottles, containers, and wrappers are always part of the litter.
Plastic remains on our earth for hundreds of years after we discard it. This means every plastic bag we use for 10 seconds, every takeout container, every plastic wrapping we use will remain on this earth 5 times or more than our lifespan. These plastics also break down into microplastics that are in our waterways, food, and even our rain cycle. The average person consumes at least a credit card worth of plastic a week. We even still use styrofoam containers that are known to be carcinogenic and toxic.
We must stop this rampant use of plastic—and the solution is simple! We managed to live without any plastic until about 50 years ago. We must ban the worst forms of plastic—the overused and toxic kind. We need to support public policies that stop this use of plastic for the betterment of our earth’s health and subsequently our own.
— Amber Carey, via [email protected]