We have been told time and time again that our landfills are rapidly filling, and as we keep pushing to our maximum capacity, there is little time for action. Out of the 300 million tons of plastic produced each year, 50 percent is for single-use purposes. It keeps piling up, especially since it takes plastic up to 1,000 years to break down. Plastic bottles take up to 450 years to photo-degrade, and plastic cutlery up to 1,000. Just imagine how much plastic waste would be reduced solely by a reduction of single-use plastic. It is time to take action to reduce this hardship on our environment.

The Wood River High School W.A.T.E.R. (We Appreciate The Earth’s Resources) Club is proposing an ordinance that will eliminate all single-use plastic at special events on Hailey city property. At events, an extreme amount of unnecessary plastic is consumed, as many feel inclined by convenience to use plastic cutlery, cups and bottles. Collectively we can take action with simple solutions to reduce the use of single-use plastic, simply by bringing our own cup or bag, reusing and being aware of times we may not need plastic utensils but still use them. We can create a big impact with simple, easy actions. Businesses can make changes by providing reusable or compostable options. By choosing to make daily efforts to reduce our waste and single-use plastic use we can make a big change in our community.

Adri Meyer and Lilia Page, Wood River High School

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