The Final Straw: EHS Follow-Up

Plastic waste is at an all-time high, so what is EHS doing to help recycle it?

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The Final Straw: EHS Follow-Up

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    EHS is seriously lacking in attempts to curb plastic waste. In the first edition of the 2019 Antler Express, “The Final Straw” was a story about the use of plastic (specifically straws) in America, and how people can stop relying on them. Plastic is filling the oceans and landfills and is becoming increasingly detrimental to the environment. At EHS, everyone could (and should) do much more to stop this.

     Many students are exhausted of only being able to recycle paper and being told to toss their plastic in the trash. If one student drops their Ziploc bag in the wrong bin, the whole recycling bin is thrown in the trash. There is a reason for this, but many of you won’t like it.

     “Any time we look at taking plastic away, it costs the school district money,” principal Dan Radicia said. “I have to decide: do I spend money on textbooks, or to take plastic away? So, it’s not free. Taking paper away is free.”

     Essentially, Elkhorn High School has a contract with an organization where adults with special needs work. They will take the school ’s paper waste for free, mash it into a pulp, and use it to make something new. This is highly ethical, and it’s a good thing that EHS isn’t just sending scrap paper to a landfill somewhere to slowly decompose among other garbage.

     However, this has left EHS with no way to recycle plastic in the school. Luckily, there are a few small initiatives taken in our school. Hoping to make even a small difference, Kelly Honz, one of the English teachers, has taken it upon herself to bring a recycling bin to school and recycle the contents herself.

     “I’ve learned that sometimes it’s the simplest things that can make a big difference,” Honz said. “For me, if you’re going to be concerned about something, it’s not enough to just be concerned about it.”

     So, if you ever have any plastic or a can that you need to recycle, you can stop in room C202. If you really want to get involved, you can join Going Green for the Greater Good (also known as 4G), EHS ’s environmental club. Sometimes, the plastic problem seems too great for such small contributions to have any effect at all, but that doesn’t mean EHS shouldn’t try.

     “There’s plenty about climate control that I can’t do anything about,” Honz said. “Recycling plastic is something I can do.”