Every year Americans use some 37 million tons of plastic. Less than 10 percent of that is recycled, with much of the rest ending up not only in the trash but also on roadsides, in waterways, and eventually in the ocean. Here in our community we use plenty, too. Members of the Mahtomedi High School Eco Club decided to demonstrate how much by building a boat out of plastic bottles and jars they collected at school and paddling it on White Bear Lake earlier this summer.
Club members collected about 700 bottles. They used more than 500 of them to build the boat. The message? “Don’t throw away your plastic bottles … and try to bring in reusable alternatives,” said Eco Club co-president Audrey Strand. The students are working to make it easier to use refillable water bottles to cut down on the waste at MHS. Their hope is that the boat will help that message will catch on in the broader community.