, Newburyport, MA


July 19, 2013

Students lead the way in limiting plastic-bag use

To the editor:

Many of us are familiar with the Margaret Mead quote that reads, in part, “We should never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” It’s just that for most of us adults, even a small change in behavior can be hard to make. I know this is true for me. But, if the group pressing for change is comprised of children and the issue involves the stewardship of the natural environment, the call to action can be hard to ignore.

As I read “Prohibiting Plastic” on the front page of the July 10 Daily News, I was pleased to see the momentum gained for an issue that many of us would not be talking about if it weren’t for the work Newburyport’s children have done to bring it to our attention: reducing or eliminating single-use plastic bags in our city. The article kindly and accurately notes the involvement of NHS students in this movement, but I’d like to add an acknowledgement of the students of River Valley Charter School’s Middle School.

Over the course of this past school year, a group of RVCS students showed the courage to present their feelings on this topic to adults by speaking at board meetings, helping to survey over 100 retailers and writing letters. Following are excerpts from a letter that was signed by 46 RVCS Middle School students and sent to eight of Newburyport’s chain stores, including Market Basket and Shaw’s, in June. The letter shows just how “thoughtful” and “committed” these students are, and explains simple steps that can be taken to make this relatively small change in our world. Now it’s up to us adults to see if we can follow their lead.

“We are deeply concerned by the growing rate of plastic bag pollution in New England and the rest of the country. It is estimated that Newburyport alone uses 5 million plastic bags annually. We feel it is our responsibility to take immediate action to decrease this number substantially as we are aware of the devastating effects plastic pollution is having on seals, marine life and other animals.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans