Sophomore Kayla Zilke and junior Rosemary Aviste are coordinating a group of students whose aim is to reduce plastic waste on campus.

“At the present moment, environmentalism is shifting such that plastic waste reduction is the focus of the movement,” Aviste said.

The group feels this is the perfect time to change the paradigm of plastic usage on campus and thus have partnered with the Post Landfill Action Network (PLAN), an organization that aims to reduce the prices of environmentally friendly goods and services.

PLAN further offers free advising, tutorials, and workshops for students on its website. This helps alleviate the biggest hurdle that environmentalism brings with it: affordability.

PLAN is making it possible for all students on campus to afford environment-friendly alternatives to mainstream products. This will further enable the group to push forward the zero-waste movement on campus and empower other groups that support similar ideas aimed at bettering the environmental quality.

“It’s not realistic to say we can be completely zero-waste so soon, but we can definitely reduce our plastic waste stream through our actions,” Zilke said.

This year, the membership for PLAN was funded by the EcoReps on campus,. However, if this pilot membership is successful, Dining Services plans to fund it for subsequent years.

Membership in PLAN is available to everyone on campus, from students to faculty.

“The administration of the school is open to looking at these issues, so it was a good time to initiate this membership,” Zilke said.

However, these services can only be beneficial if the students on campus know about PLAN. So, the group is taking efforts to use an array of platforms to spread the word about it.

Aviste and Zilke reiterated the importance of plastic waste reduction on campus, especially in light of the restrictive waste policies that have been implemented in the Monroe County. The county now has zero tolerance toward contamination for recycling waste.

According to the new restrictive policies, Starbucks cups for iced drinks and clamshells from The Pit cannot be thrown into recycling bins because they contaminate recycling waste.

Aviste and Zilke advised students to keep this in mind.

Tagged: PLAN

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