To the Editor:
We (Derian Gatewood, Paula Bush, Gabe Millay, Zubin Grogg, Max Pennesi and Ezra Halkett) are students from Nature Links, a nonprofit education organization in Blue Hill. We are a group of adult learners who care about the environment. We live all over the state of Maine, including Surry, Blue Hill, Brooklin, Bar Harbor and Belfast. We live in communities that share a strong connection to the ocean. For the past few months we have been learning about how plastic pollution can hurt our oceans and marine animals. Did you know that plastic kills more than one million marine animals each year? Plastic takes hundreds of years to break down in our environment and tiny bits of plastic called microplastics can even be found in our bodies! By 2050, it is expected that there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish.
During this holiday season, there are many ways we can all reduce our use of plastic. At celebrations, bring reusable silverware and plates instead of single-use plastic. Consider making your own holiday decorations from natural materials or even recycle old newspapers and magazines as wrapping paper. Local restaurants can also choose to give their customers plastic-free cutlery, plates, bowls, cups and straws. We can all choose to buy food and presents from local stores to reduce plastic packaging and support the businesses in our own communities.
Plastic pollution is a worldwide crisis, and if we don’t stop it no one else is going to. Keep spreading the word and doing your part to keep plastic from polluting the oceans that we all treasure.
Nature Links students