MCS Upper School Students Attend Ban the Bag Conference

by Kevin Lopez, 8th grade

On Saturday, March 2nd, 10 students from MCS went to the Ban the Bag Conference held at the Hewitt School. First we watched a screening of the documentary bag it. In the documentary, a guy named Jev Berrier talked about how his journey to wanting to help the environment all started with one grocery store plastic bag that he received to carry one yogurt cup. It seemed unnecessary. He then began to see plastic bags polluting the streets, stuck in trees, and everywhere he looked. When he asked people where the garbage such as these plastic bags went, everyone said it went away. The big question was where is “away”? “Away” turned out to be places like the ocean and landfills. We learned that people use an incredible number of plastic bags every day and that they are harmful to ocean life and to humans as they occupy more and more space in landfills.

After the screening there was a panel discussion with very influential people like Jennie Romer, founder of Plastic Bag Laws; Ron Gonen, Mayor Bloomberg’s Deputy Commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability; Stiv Wilson, from the Five Gyres Institute; Eric Goldstein from the NRDC; Matie Quinn of Sims Recycling; and City Councilmember Brad Lander. They all talked about their roles in the fight to save the planet and ways to spread the word about banning or charging for single use plastic bags in New York City. Other cities around the world have banned the bag and greatly reduced the number of plastic bags used.

After the panel, we then were broken into small groups where we talked about what interested us and how we can be green at our school. We left inspired to help ban plastic bags in our neighborhood and hopefully in New York City.

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