Solutions to Plastic Pollution

Written by Aislinn Sterling, Program Manager

Many of us know that the choices we make at the grocery store affect our health but did you did you know those choices can also affect the health of our oceans? Have you ever thought about where our garbage goes when we throw it “away”? Third grade students at Glorietta Elementary School in Orinda become experts on the harmful environmental effects of plastic pollution and how to reduce landfill and ocean waste. They shared their knowledge with the rest of their school through creative presentations in order to help create a zero waste future.

Each group of students shared a different message about how to reduce plastic pollution in our landfills and oceans. Some students talked about specific products we buy, what happens to each of them and which choices create the least plastic waste for the environment. One group compared the extensive plastic waste created by individually packaged apple sauce cups and pouches to lower waste alternatives like bulk apple sauce in glass jars or simply buying apples instead.

Another student group shared information about various kinds of straws. “Plastic straws can’t be recycled,” Joseph explained, “so they end up in the landfill or the ocean.” “Paper straws are better because they can be composted,” he added. “Metal and glass straws are even better because they are reusable so they can be washed and used again and again!”

Tips about how to reduce plastic in landfills and the ocean, like how to pack a “Zero Waste Lunch” or how to cut back on food packaging waste by buying food in bulk were also featured in the presentations. Each group created a large visual to share their knowledge with the entire school, including every student in the school and family members as well.

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