Are people aware of how much plastic they use and its effects

Cristina Ray '21, Business Manager

Many students and teachers at John Glenn High School are knowledgeable on plastic and its impact on the environment in present time [Oct. 2019].

Science teachers had very passionate views on the topic and the “average” John Glenn student had bold thoughts.

When senior Cameron Hubbard was questioned about his awareness of the number of plastic he uses, he was quick to answer with, “Uh yes. It is a significant amount. I try to use as less as I can.” Following with, “It can cause several deaths on many endangered animals, actually taking them from endangered to extinct.”

Climate change has been a heated topic for a while now. Outside of John Glenn, where the majority is opinionated and has a firm position on the topic, is the many populous platforms of social media which have climate change spokespeople making an effort to convince the public of their truth.

During interviews, some teachers believed the topic is irrelevant and a complete waste of time to worry about while other students and teachers were determined to fight for what they believe is possibly in danger.

“It’s a collective action problem… we have to be activists,” said Andrew Coleman, a math teacher for various grades.

Some students think the popular material is doing potentially irreversible damage.

Kennedy Edwards, a junior, stated, “[Plastic] has made [the Earth’s] condition worse…” She then said the Earth may be saved if people are quick to try.

There was a selective few that opposed movements and do not fear for the state of the Earth’s condition.

Mr. Kaminski, a chemistry teacher, had a lot to say. First of which was, “I don’t mind the use of plastic, it should be recycled.” As well as, “I don’t think the Earth is in dire straits of needing saving.” When asked about if plastic has made the Earth’s condition better or worse, he replied, “Perhaps worse.” Also, after being asked to name a few stores that may use plastic bags, he answered, “Every grocery store I’ve ever been to.”

Interviewees had a glimmer of hope in their eyes while suggesting ways their home can be saved. Others were relaxed, unbothered, and very at ease because in their eyes, there is no real threat. A current spokesperson that a numerous amount of people know of is 16 year old Greta Thunberg. Mr. Conn was even eager to say, “I follow her on Twitter. She’s the G.O.A.T.”

There doesn’t seem to be another efficient material as cheap and easy to use for multiple things like plastic according to Hubbard, “That stuff costs more money which is why people keep going back to plastic bags.”

People are searching for proper substitutes for plastic. An idea that is often brought up was stated by Mr. Conn, “I think plastic needs to eventually become obsolete. We need to go to biodegradable materials.” He then added, “I think plastic’s terrible when used improperly. I think it was the best technology we had at the time. Now that we’ve advanced, further, we have better technology to change that.”

After wrapping up the interview with Mr. Kaminski, he had a final piece of input, “Animals should be smart enough to not eat plastic.”