Plastic Waste – A Problem

Plastic Waste - A Problem

Do you know know the effects of plastic water bottles on the planet? Only two out of every ten bottles consumed end up in recycling, with the remainder ending up in landfills, oceans and on roads. According to Recycling Coalition of Utah, Americans dispose of 35 billion plastic bottles irresponsibly each year, neglecting the recycling bin for the landfill. Seeing these numbers is depressing, and calls for action to help the environment and for a change in routine.  

What can Desert Vista students do to reduce waste from plastic bottles at school? The number of “landfill” bins greatly outnumber the recycle ones, so would an addition of more recycling bins make a difference? Would eliminating plastic bottles from vending machines effectively solve the problem? Do the few water bottle refilling stations help to reduce plastic bottle waste and purchases? When talking with multiple students, each gave a different perspective on ways they thought would work on reducing waste at Desert Vista.

In an interview on March 22, with freshman Alexia Hudson, she described using the water fountain only once, to refill a hydroflask for a friend, and if she thought they were effective:

“The school’s water tastes disgusting, and I don’t like it.” Hudson also wanted to add that:  “Nobody really uses them.”

Hudson’s perspective on the water at school can be answered with a simple solution; to make the water taste better! Encouraging water refill stations with better tasting water can help students benefit the environment by while also benefitting themselves.

During a talk with Mackenzie-Donovan Rothschild-Potterf, a junior at Desert Vista, he told about how frequently he uses the water refill stations: “About 3-4 times a week on average, or whenever I think about it.” When asked if he thought the stations were effective, he answered: “It helps a lot.”

With the addition of more recycle bins, less reusable materials will not go to waste. Using the water refill stations, like Alexia and Mackenzie-Donovan described, would help to minimize waste from plastic bottles. With a small effort, students can help to reduce the carbon footprint left by Desert Vista.