To the editor:
While trying to do a project for my high school Participation in Government class, I ran into problems concerning my proposal to ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles in the community. My proposal was turned down when I presented it to my high school, the justification being that the cafeteria could potentially lose money. However, this isn’t the first time, or the last time, that money and the economy will be put over the needs of the environment and a sustainable future.
Our community has become so engrossed in our daily lives and destructive habits that we forget about the needs of things other than ourselves — one of those habits being the purchase of plastic water bottles that are typically only used once and rarely recycled. These bottles are not only a waste but an environmental disturbance, as well as a hindrance to our health. These water bottles end up in landfills where they take hundreds of years to decompose, or in the ocean and eventually the stomach of marine animals. These bottles also contain a chemical called Bisphenol A, which can leech out into the water and act as an endocrine disrupter and lead to effects in fetuses, infants and young children.
My hope is that as a community we can ban the selling of these wasteful water bottles like Concord, Mass., accomplished and instead focus on reusable bottles that can move us toward a more sustainable future. This goes for all plastic products. There are other alternatives that are better options, for example, glass and aluminum. If we can’t get this banned, we can all at least try our best to keep plastic out of our lives. The next time you go to buy a plastic water bottle, just think about how easy it would be to have filled up a BPA-free reusable bottle before you left the house. Twenty seconds, that’s all it takes to make a difference.
Meghan King, Wading River
To read more letters to the editor, pick up a copy of this week’s Riverhead News-Review or click on the E-Paper.