The Battle with Plastic

Aztecs speak out against straws, single-use plastic


Plastic builds up in landfills more and more every day. Approximately 390 million plastic straws are used by Americans alone. Plastic, specifically plastic straws, is one of the most common forms of trash found in the ocean.

“I frequently see that plastic is going into the ocean and affecting the wildlife everywhere,” junior Mariani Yu said.

Plastic is also non-biodegradable, meaning that it takes many years for plastic to break down into smaller pieces. Many times, plastic does not biodegrade completely, meaning that it stays in the landfills, building up more and more.

“This issue is so sad, although we live here in the desert, we see this plastic going into oceans and affecting sea turtles everyday. It’s hurtful in every environment really, there is no exception in destruction,” ”

— Ashley Viveros


Some El Dorado students are advocating to stop the use of plastic straws and utensils. From teachers to students, Aztecs have been walking away from single-use plastic. Visual arts teacher and It’s Your World Sponsor Candice Printz is a leading supporter on the banning of plastic waste here at El Dorado. She contributes with weekly cleanups and art shows transforming trash into treasure in the Metamorphosis Art Show.

“I, individually, have refused to use plastic straws and utensils by asking the waiters to not give me a plastic straw,” Printz said. “Last year at an art show opening, we had discussions about one-use plastic and how they are horrible for the environment. As a token of our appreciation for moving people forward to the right direction, we handed out many reusable aluminum straws, which are inexpensive as well.”

Starbucks recently announced that the company will stop providing its signature green plastic straws to customers in all their stores by 2020. With steps like these from major companies like Starbucks, other stores and businesses may also stop the distribution of single-use plastic.

“The plastic problem here on campus is also contributing to this worldwide issue. For example, the plastic utensils here on campus, the plastic forks and spoons that come in so much plastic packaging as well as straws from our local vendors,” said junior

“In the future, I would like to see the beaches clean, and have everything be reusable with as little plastic waste as possible.””

— Kaitlyn Rodriguez