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NO MORE ONE-USE BOTTLES Ishani Shethia, a senior at Bellaire High School, joined a new recycling club to help reduce discarded plastic.
I stopped using plastic bottles five years ago. What pushed me over the edge is seeing the plastic bottles pile up day after day in school. I learned a few years ago that my school did not recycle in the past. I go to a school that has a paper shortage and sells plastic water bottles at lunch but doesn’t recycle. This is absurd. I talk to my friends about not using plastic bottles, but nobody listens. Trying to convince people to take the extra minute to use a refillable bottle is like talking to a brick wall.
As with all change, I believe it starts with individual accountability. If we all pledge to use fewer bottles, we can decrease the amount of plastic used in households. As the society starts thinking about these changes, the local governments will enact legislation to combat the overuse of all plastic materials. As a country, we lack the culture of reusing plastic and instead make it a one-time-use material that ends up accumulating in landfills.
There needs to be a people’s movement from the bottom up that changes the way that we handle plastic materials, especially bottles. I want to be at the forefront of this movement. Ever since learning about the vast impact of plastic on the health of living beings and also the environmental degradation associated with it, I feel like I have an obligation to help reduce the amount of plastic used by individuals. For me, this has meant joining the newly formed recycling club at Bellaire High School. We plan to collect the recycling once a week from every teacher’s room to help all 3,600 students lessen the amount of waste they produce.
Plastic was always deemed as a blessing to humanity. But it will be our downfall if we, as a society, can’t act in this precious time we have left to change the tide before hitting our tipping point.
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