Teaching for change: Bennington professor inspires youth to reduce plastic pollution

An assortment of debris, largely plastic and believed to be largely from Indonesia, that has washed up on the shores of Bremmer Island, off the coast of northern Australia, in 2018.

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Around 40 million tons of plastic waste was generated in the U.S. in 2021, and considering the pandemic increase of takeout and single-use waste, the statistics have increased for waste production. Our small town has been known to fight to decrease plastic waste. For example, in Hannaford, Walmart and other stores, you have the option of not using plastic bags. This rule is working very well, but to make it more effective work, we can look into alternatives.

New York State has recently passed a new bill signed by New York City Mayor Eric Adams called “Skip the Stuff.” This bill gives you the option of choosing whether you would want to use plastic utensils. You can only choose to have plastic utensils upon request. Only 5 percent of plastics are recycled; therefore, we have to look into ways of stopping plastic waste. The single-use plastics form 50 percent of the plastics produced in total, according to Plastic Oceans.

This bill will help us to decrease plastic waste. In New York State, we can see that this bill is working and helping with reducing single-use plastics, which are the majority of the plastic produced. It will be very beneficial if Vermont also introduces this bill, and we help with ending plastic in the world.

Shadan Karimi



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