By Hunter King/CityStyle Editor
Plastic soup was the topic of discussion during the film screening of “Addicted to Plastic” in celebration of Earth Day on Wednesday April 22. The film was presented to students at both campuses to increase awareness about where plastic trash ends up. Eco Club President Marianne Aguilar, 18, chose the topic due to LBCC’s location and the community’s connection to the ocean.
Guest speaker, Katie Allen, a marine researcher and representative from Algalita Marine Research and Education Foundation, engaged students after the 6 p.m. presentation at the LAC.
The film addressed the increasing pollution of the ocean due to misplaced plastic. It informed students that approximately 80% of ocean pollution originates on land and is dumped into the ocean due to a lack of space available in landfills.
Once dispersed into the water, waves and sunrays breakup the plastic into smaller pieces, but these pieces do not break down, the film explained.
Cleanup efforts are being taken to collect plastic out of the ocean, but the degree of pollution runs deep. Allen compared the plastic soup of the ocean to a bowl of cereal where the water is milk and the plastic pieces are Fruit Loops. Once the Fruit Loops are introduced into the milk, they begin to soften and their colors run, turning the milk into a rainbow of Fruit Loop residue. Cleanup efforts are represented by a spoon and filter. The spoon removes the larger chunks of cereal, while the filter removes the color from the milk. Afterwards, the milk may appear to be in its original state, but the taste of the Fruit Loops will still remain. The metaphor communicated to students the severity of pollution the ocean is experiencing.
Here at LBCC, the Eco Club is doing its part by educating students, collecting recycling and heading cleanup efforts around the community, but it’s not an easy task, explained PCC President Ben White, 30. “Students are not as involved as I’d like to see,” he said.
Aguilar explained that it’s difficult to simply distribute recycling bins around the campus. LBCC currently hires an outside group to sort trash and pick out the recycling. The Eco Club and many students alike said funds could better be spent on recycling bins, so students could throw away recyclables and trash into the designated containers, eliminating the need for trash sorting later.
“Recycling bins have not been approved,” Aguilar said. White hopes to see more cooperation between the student government and the Eco Club in the future.
For now, the Eco Club continues to assist the community in local cleanup. On Saturday May 16, they will sponsor a cleanup on Seal Beach from 9 a.m.–noon. For more information, people may contact Aguilar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Eco Club meets at the PCC every Monday at 5 p.m. and at the LAC every Wednesday at 3 p.m.