Students support ban on plastics


The staff of Willow Rest signed the petition to use reusable materials. Senior Katie Nugent informed the business of the reasons behind the ban.

KATELYN MOORE, Staff Writer, Editor

Tired of feeling like a bystander when it comes to climate change? Think there’s nothing you can do? Think again. Rachel Rex’s senior Environmental Issues class is taking matters into its own hands by going out into the community to inform local businesses of the new proposal to ban plastic and polystyrene (Styrofoam) containers.

“It’s important that every business in Gloucester is made aware of this proposal,” said Rex. Gloucester’s volunteer-based Clean City Commission under the leadership of City Councilor Melissa Cox developed an ordinance stating the ban, while also providing recyclable alternatives to plastic products.

Similar to the bans already implemented in other communities around Gloucester, the community’s ordinance seeks to limit the use of non-recyclable materials in businesses like restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores, and coffee shops.

Not only will Rex’s seniors be informing the community about this ordinance, but they will encourage the signing of the petition for the ban as well. According to Rex, several GHS students have already signed the petition.

“This is an educational opportunity,” continued Rex, “but also it gives the students an opportunity to take an active role in the community and witness the positive changes that occur.”

Each C block, the Environmental Issues class will also educate the local business about plastic pollution in Gloucester’s waters and environment, as well as how it affects the worldwide climate. The Clean City Commission also provided a plethora of information about biodegradable plastics which can be used as alternatives to non-recyclables. The seniors will touch on this information when asking for support.

“This activity gives back to the Gloucester community,” said senior Katie Nugent, who will be partaking in the endeavor, “as well as helping the environment and giving a heads up about switching over to paper bags.”

“It takes just one step at a time to make the world a better place,” said senior Macaella Oliver.

The class has already contacted Cape Ann Coffees, Subway, Common Crow, Conley’s Drug Store, and most of the businesses on Main Street. The students hope to continue this initiative for the remainder of the school year.