Last week we had the fantastic opportunity to be invited to a grade 11/12 class at Vancouver College to talk to students about the environmental impact of plastic consumption, waste management, and regulations surrounding plastic in Canada. We took what we learned in ENVR 430 and aimed to inspire more young people in our community to start making real change with respect to plastic use.
The students were extremely engaged and had so many great questions about possible solutions and interventions that could be put into place locally and internationally. They were really intrigued by the stories we shared about the environmental and economic impacts that plastic pollution has on coastal cities. They also were curious to understand the process of entering a circular economy and the potential economic impact that could have on production costs.
Towards the end of our workshop we asked the students to brainstorm how they want to create change in their lives, at their school, and in their communities when it comes to plastic use. The students worked in groups to come up with realistic interventions and we discussed them together as a class.
Here's what the students had to say about how to help the plastic problem...
In their lives
Cut out plastic bags other single use plastics.
Use the reusable bags and cups that they already have.
Stay educated on current initiatives to fight plastic pollution.
Be an advocate for change and spread the word!
Join the environmental club.
Fight for the removal of plastic cutlery in the cafe.
Share what they learned with their peers.
In the community
Fund more waste collection and recycling centres
Sidewalk clean ups
Advocate for Bill C-204
Fight for more policies limiting single use plastics