Posted: April 28, 2017
Clark County Green Schools has an announcement to make: After months and months of amazing collection from schools all over Clark County, the TREX Challenge came to an end last Friday. Stephanie from TREX has tabulated all the results and we have a winner!
Due to the amazing participation rate, TREX was generous to donate three benches to the amazing schools in Clark County. The three schools who collected the most will receive a bench! And the winners are…
- First place – Mill Plain Elementary
- Second place – Our Lady of Lourdes
- Third place – Lacamas Heights Elementary
· Clark County students collected (and kept out of landfills!) almost 18,000 pounds of plastic wrap and film! That’s astounding, and over 6,000 pounds more than collected last year! Give yourselves a pat on the back!
· This material will be recycled and made into TREX lumber, so we’ll take something that may have been thrown away and make it into something new.
· All this plastic wrap and film is recyclable EVERY DAY at your local grocery store. We want students to continue keeping it out of the recycling carts and landfills and recycling that material at their local grocery store. It’s easy!
· And the message of reduction shouldn’t be overlooked. Bringing reusable bags to the grocery store reduces our need for single use plastic in the first place, and reduces the toll on the environment.
o Americans use more than 100 billion plastic bags each year, more than 300 bags per person per year.
o Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes, but a single plastic bag has a life expectancy of up to 1,000 years.
o In the ocean, plastics break down into small, plankton-sized particles that can outnumber plankton six to one. These pieces collect toxins like PCBs and DDT at levels up to 1,000,000 times the levels found in seawater.
o Marine wildlife often mistake plastic bags for food, especially sea turtles hunting jellyfish. In fact, high amounts of plastic material, especially plastic bags, have been found blocking the breathing passages and stomachs of many marine species, including whales, dolphins, seals, puffins, and turtles.
o In the middle of the Atlantic, there is an area that spans the distance between Virginia to Cuba called the Great Atlantic Garbage Patch: a soup of plastic with up to 26 million plastic particles per square kilometer.
o 85 percent of all sea turtles will be injured or killed by plastics in their lifetimes, including the endangered leatherback turtles that summer in Massachusetts Bay before migrating to the tropics to mate. 8) 80 percent of marine debris comes from land-based waste, and the most direct route to the Great Atlantic Garbage patch is from the east coast of the US.
o Retail businesses spend more than $4 billion per year to provide plastic bags.
o Nearly 100 cities, towns, and counties across the US have banned plastic bags, half of them in the past year.
Thanks for doing your part to reduce and then recycle plastic wrap and bags!