Mountain Student Explores Plastic Bag Issue

Mountain Elementary School 6th grade student Karin Ebey. Courtesy photo
 
By KARIN EBEY
Mountain Elementary School

Los Alamos county should incorporate the bag ban because plastic is drastically affecting our planet in many harmful ways.

Currently carbon dioxide levels are the highest yet, 385 ppm (parts per million). Carbon dioxide reflects infrared rays back to Earth, thus warming our planet.

Plastic bags release a lot of carbon dioxide when they are made. To make one kilogram of plastic it takes six kilograms of carbon dioxide. There are 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of the ocean. Both of these problems lead to plastic.

One milllion plastic bags are used every minute. Most of that plastic finds its way into the ocean where many animals will eat the plastic thinking that it is food. The plastic will choke or block the intestines of animals, leading to a slow painful death.

Closer to home, many plastic grocery bags are put in the landfill, where the plastic soaks up toxins. Plastic waste can leak into our soil and water from the landfill, thus contaminating our land.

Plastic never goes away completely. Instead of biodegrading, plastic photodegrades. Photodegrading means that it breaks into smaller and smaller pieces, but never go away. We can never get rid of plastic now, so our planet is going to acquire more plastic unless we do something about this. One thing that we can do is reduce the amount of plastic we use.

Our climate is at stake here, what will we do? We can use reusable grocery bags to reduce our plastic intake. One reusable grocery bag saves 1,000 plastic bags in it’s lifetime. Also plastic grocery bag ban could reduce our plastic intake. A plastic grocery bag ban would mean that you would no longer be able to get a plastic grocery bag to carry your groceries out, but you could use your own bag or purchase a paper bag for three cents, $0.03. Reducing our plastic intake can save our oceans and our climate.

Editor’s note: Karin Ebey is a Mountain 6th grade student in Mrs. Altherr’s class. She has expressed that she cares a great deal about the environment.

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