On March 14, Masset high school students lined up outside on Collison Ave. Next stop, Masset village office. From there they marched to the Delmas Co-op store on Main St. and assembled in the parking lot, brandishing a dozen or more colourful signs calling for climate change action. (Archie Stocker Sr. / Haida Gwaii Observer)

COLUMN: Students stir conversation on plastics

Prince Rupert students took part in the global school walkouts for climate action on March 15

With all the heavy and horrific stories that have been filling our news feeds this past week, I’d like to focus on some positive headlines – and the future is bright.

Students from Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii and around the world took a stance on climate justice last Friday, and it’s about time.

READ MORE: Rupert students stage city hall sit-in as part of worldwide protest

The Gen Z demographic have a little more stake in the debate.

While the older generations sit in political office and continue to push climate change priorities to the side while dealing with other challenges, ie. aging infrastructure, the younger generations are seeing the dead whale found near the Philippines with 40kg of plastic in its stomach, the melting ice caps, the rising tides, and the increasingly intense fire seasons.

The elementary school students’ carefully prepared signs specifically targeted a ban on single-use plastic.

While it was kind of the mayor to speak with the student demonstrators about Rupert’s 2030 Sustainable City plan, why can’t the city make the move to ban single-use plastics right now?

Take a run along the highway this time of year and it’s just one reminder of how disposable our single-use plastics are. When these light plastics are left in the back of a truck or boat they fly into the air and pollute our precious environment.

If the ban were put in place, I’m not sure what the police would use for car accidents. The amount of plastic caution tape left along the road this year is also shocking.

As we learned recently, social media can be a platform for those who want to spread hate. But then there’s those who use it for good. Take the #Trashtag Challenge that encourages people to clean up litter and then share their before and after shots.

We can make a difference at any age. Starting the conversation is one way, so to the students pushing for climate justice keep the momentum going, we can set an example here in Prince Rupert.

RELATED: Students worldwide skip class to demand action on climate


Shannon Lough | Editor
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