Knights gathered in the Student Union Atrium Monday to see the sustainability display put on by the Student Government Association.
The event entitled “Caught in the Web of Plastic” was meant to bring awareness to students in regards to just how much plastic waste is produced in the United States and how students can be a part of the solution.
Per the posters SGA had on display, there are 100 billion single-use disposable plastic carry-out shopping bags used in the U.S. per year. That’s 3.5 million tons of plastic bags thrown away each year. The distance these bags would go if they were tied together would wrap around the world 776 times.
To demonstrate just how much of a problem this is, members of the SGA put together multiple displays of long vases filled to the brim with plastic bags.
The most prominent display however, was the massive web made up of hundreds of plastic bags stretched out across the atrium from the second story.
“I think people just brought them in [the bags] and there were certain days where people would come in and tie them together to make the actual web itself, “ freshman health sciences pre-clinical major and SGA executive branch member Kirsten Gentzel said.
The web is meant to show just how many bags are wasted and how many students happened to have them in their house not being used.
“We’re here to spread awareness just to reuse bags, there’s even a meme on it, I mean, and it’s kind of funny so why not just take one,” freshman health sciences pre-clinical major and SGA executive branch member, Grace Andrade said.
To help students be part of the solution, SGA members handed out fabric bags with the Arthur’s fist meme that read “when someone uses a plastic bag when grocery shopping.”
Advice offered to students included simply saying “I don’t need a bag” when shopping for easily carriable items and switching to reusable bags instead.
Students were also encouraged to shop with organizations who provide incentives for bringing your own bag and to shift their mindset toward a greener solution.
Originally published March 27, 2017