Wy’east students continue plea for plastic ban

Editor’s note: Wy’east Middle School students recently submitted the following letters to the editor concerning the use of plastic bags in Hood River County.

For years, residents of Hood River believed that their plastic bags were being recycled. Little do they know not even half of their plastics are even recycled or eco-friendly. Plastic bags should be banned in Hood River because people are not informed on the amount they are using, they don’t know where it ends up, and they don’t know the effect all the plastics have on their environment.

Hood River uses an abundant amount of plastics and garbage. The eighth grade called four major Hood River grocery stores and found out that we use 14,766 plastic bags a day. With that amount of plastic bags used a day, we can fill up four football fields.

In addition, Hood River Garbage Recycling collects 124,000 pounds of garbage per day, which is five truck loads full. Ten percent of that garbage is plastic.

Most of Hood River’s plastic and garbage ends up in the Arlington landfill. A landfill is a mountain or a pile of waste sitting on a piece of land. Hood River Garbage collects the majority of Hood River’s garbage. After Hood River Garbage picks it up, it is then taken to Portland, where there they do not recycle plastic. Once it is tossed around, it is then driven to northwest and southwest Portland metro, then finally is taken to Arlington Oregon landfill, only 74.88 miles away from Hood River.

Hood River is a beautiful place. Tourists would know because that’s why they come to visit every year. Soon that might all change. All the plastic is harming the environment and the wildlife.

Animals are mistakenly eating plastics thinking it is their food. The beautiful sights people would go see now have plastic in their pictures. Everywhere you look, you would see plastic.

Now some say plastics are eco-friendly and will biodegrade. The plastic will biodegrade, but it will never go away. It will stay on planet Earth forever. To conclude, the amount of garbage and plastic a small town like Hood River is using is absurd. With the right people and help Hood River can put a ban on plastic bags.

Makenzie Chambers

In a place as beautiful as Hood River, why should there be plastic bags?

Worldwide, the increasing amount of discarded plastic bags has turned many once breathtaking places like Hood River into giant landfills. My calculations have shown that Hood River orders enough plastic bags in total to cover the area of 28 football fields per week! So what does that mean for the future of our town?

First of all, a ban on plastic bags could hold many great things besides itself. No plastic bags means a lot less trash, which can help preserve the natural beauty of Hood River for many years to come, according to research by last year’s class. It could also help reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses put off during plastic bag production. Plus, with thousands of tourists passing through, they may be inspired by our policy and may consider banning plastic bags in their home town.

In addition, this could prevent dilemmas that arise from too many plastic bags. Plastic bags could be potentially hazardous to wildlife in local habitats like the Hood River, Columbia River, and Mount Hood National Forest. It could also sabotage the majesty of our town, which has happened to many local destinations. Take The Dalles for example!

Although a ban on plastic bags may be quite helpful in the future, plastic bag corporations would say otherwise. Companies such as Helix or Hippo produce millions of plastic bags per day! Now if we slow those numbers down, jobs open to the public as plastic bag manufacturers could dwindle, which could eventually hurt the economy.

To sum it all up, banning plastic bags could cause drawbacks in the economy, but it will still help out the environment, protect wildlife and their habitats, and leave Hood River’s natural majesty intact. So do you think we should ban plastic bags? I guarantee you that with this policy will come a bright future for the town of Hood River, Oregon.

Lyden Bush

Over one billion plastic bags are being used every year in America. More cities are beginning to ban the use of plastic bags. Hood River should ban plastic bags due to its substantial waste size, influence from others, and negative effects towards marine life.

Plastic bags, bottles and other single use items are producing too much waste in the U.S. According to the research found by our class, Walmart, Safeway and Rosauers uses about 34,600 plastic bags a day. The amount of plastic bags used would fill up 74 average sized pools.

Not only would the ban lower rubbish use in Hood River, it would also help our leachate water and soil contamination problem. Since Hood River has a large population size, we need food to be imported to the community. Our class also discovered that onions come from Arlington, Ore., in the summer. Unfortunately, Hood River and Portland’s closest landfill is also located in Arlington. We should be concerned because leachate is the liquid that is formed from landfills, and it travels through soil and water.

Hood River should act upon the influence of other cities and states whom already banned the plastic bag. Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Oakland, South America, and Kenya have already banned the use of plastic bags. Its unnecessary single use, fragility is causing citizens to question its importance. Also according to our class’s research, plastic bags were made in 1960, yet Safeway adapted them in 1982. Therefore, plastic bags were unnecessary but were exploited in the 1980s.

Banning the bag would beneficially affect the environment.

Others may argue that plastic bags are eco-friendly; however, they are incorrect. Our class discovered that two main corporations, Helix and Hipo, produce Hood River’s plastic bag supply. Although Hipo is an eco-friendly producing business, they only create 4-7000 plastic bags. Helix, a non-recyclable manufacturing factory, produces millions of bags per day.

The use of plastic bags in Hood River is nonessential, so it should be terminated. We would beneficially decrease the plastic in the Hood River and reduce problems of vast litter in landfills and put an end to marine life inequality.

Julia Oseguera

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