Everyone has heard of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. What about the fourth? Refuse.
We can reduce the amount of single-use plastic bags, we can re-use single use plastic bags, and we can even recycle them (which by the way, is still harmful to the environment with all of the toxic chemicals that are emitted during the process.) Probably one of the best ways to reduce the amount of single-use plastic bags that you use is to refuse to use them at all.
Emily Chartrand, a 17-year-old entrepreneur and environmental activist from Penticton, B.C. originated this idea of REFUSE. She and her older sister used to have a business packaging green jelly beans as Ogopogo poop and using the profits to support charitable work in Mexico. However, after she saw a presentation by Naramata filmmaker, Jan Vozenilek in January 2010, of pictures and films showing albatross carcasses stuffed with plastic, she terminated her business that she had started when she was eight and became an anti-plastic advocate at her school. She organized events and seminars and she arranged for 1,000 metal water bottles to be donated to students at her school to replace plastic ones. She says that we need to change our habits because if we keep disposing and using non-reusable plastic, where is it going to go?
We encourage you all to say, “No thank you,” when the cashier asks if you’d like a bag. Think about whether it’s worth it to use a plastic bag when there are so many alternatives.
If you have any questions, feel free to send us an email at email@example.com.
– Katie Bieber and Reid Rebinsky