Deep Cove Planet Protectors
- Grade 3
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At Deep Cove Elementary, we live, learn, and play alongside nature, surrounded by trees and our beautiful ocean. We already have an active recycling and composting program in our school to help manage our lunch waste. But when our students learned that plastic was finding its way onto the nearby beaches, into the water, and then into the bellies of birds and fish, they decided to take action.
Our students started with a clean-up of nearby Chalet Beach. They picked up plastic, batteries, and rusty bits of metal. But their efforts didn’t stop there. What if they could reduce the amount of plastic that is used in the first place?
They learned that plastic bags are made from petroleum, and that a typical plastic shopping bag is used for just 12 minutes. Worldwide, a million plastic bags are used each minute That seemed wasteful – and unsustainable. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade, and plastic bags are not easy to recycle.. What could be done? Our students learned that other municipalities have bylaws to ban single-use plastic shopping bags. But could it happen here in the town of Sidney?
Our Planet Protectors took to the streets of Sidney and canvassed shopkeepers about their use of plastic bags. They asked merchants whether they would support a bylaw banning single-use plastics. When the numbers we tallied, the evidence was clear: 49 of the 56 respondents would be in favour of a ban on plastic bags. The students took their results to the Municipal Hall, and had a councillor present their work to the mayor. Although the mayor decided to postpone a decision, pending outcomes in other municipalities, the Planet Protectors had their voices heard. They will continue their efforts to ban the bag.