Should the sale of single-use plastic be allowed on campus?


Patrick Chavez, Staff Writer

Disposable plastics are everywhere in our life, from plastic bottles to food containers, plastic is contaminating our waterways and polluting ecosystems that we rely on.  

According to the Department of Environmental Quality, “One school-aged student who uses disposable lunch products creates 67 pounds of waste during a nine-month school year. Essentially, one middle school with an average number of students can create more than 30,000 pounds of waste in the lunchroom alone.”

Because of the sheer amount that we use, plastic is something we must learn to use more conservatively or else we will feel the consequences of our neglect. The best way to reduce the amount of plastic an individual uses is on a community level. Our community, La Jolla High School, can do something about the plastic problem by introducing sustainable alternatives to the plastic. Our school sells plastic in food containers, bottles, straws and utensils. Ditching single use food containers for reusable lunch boxes or cutlery students would take home to clean can sharply reduce that amount.

According to the same report by the Department of Environmental Quality “The benefits of starting plastic reduction programs outweigh the initial effort. Students and adults learn about protecting the environment and possibly transfer the same waste-reduction techniques to their own homes.”

“Reducing plastic usage in schools decreases the costs of waste removal, energy consumption, trash generation and greenhouse gas emissions.” Waste-free school lunches and encouraging families to use plastic more conscientiously will benefit the environment and educate the community on sustainability.