PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — One local science class is hoping to solve a big problem — plastic pollution.
Fourth graders at the Moses Brown School are asking their Washington delegation to pass a law to help keep our environment free of plastic.
Plastic pollution has gotten renewed attention in recent years, and Elizabeth Grundach’s students have been studying the problem.
“They put a bunch of things into a pile of dirt at the beginning of the year and they dug it up to see what was there when it decomposed, she said. “What comes out of that is that plastic is not decomposable.”
“Some grown ups who like to eat seafood have enough plastic in them to create a credit card,” student Sammy Buckler said.
“Plastics have been getting into our oceans for a long time,” Buckler’s classmate James Casey added. “We’ve been studying it for the past few months.”
Since January, the inquisitive group has been learning not only about plastics in our environment, but also finding solutions.
“When you talk with young kids about a problem that’s going on on the planet, I think it’s very important to give them an opportunity to try to do something about it,” Grumbach said.
The students wrote letters to their local elected officials, including Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed, asking them to pass a bill to keep plastic out of the environment.
“It will help get rid of a lot of plastics and that will make our world a lot nicer,” Buckler said.
Plastic pollution comes in many forms, as student Mikey Mendes noted, “plastic bottles, plastic bags, (fishing) nets.”
“It can like ruin spaces like rivers, it can make them dirty, and beaches,” student Otto Holland continued. “You could go there, but you wouldn’t want to. It can ruin the environment.”
In his research, Krishnav Verma learned that plastics, “can make people or animals in our ocean very sick, and we don’t that.”
Writing letters is one way to help the cause.
“We studied biodegradable plastic,” Stiles Movel said. “It breaks down into the ground and doesn’t release the toxins like regular plastic does.”
“We want people watching this to use more biodegradable plastic items,” Movel’s classmate Julian Pariseault added.
Grumbach said she is proud of the work her students have done.
“What feels good about this project is that they are so invested,” she said.
The letters have been mailed to the lawmakers, but the students are encouraging everyone to take part.
“We want to tell other people to write letters too, because if more people do it, the likelier the chance the bill gets passed.” Holland said. “So, please write letters.”
In similar projects, local elected leaders have responded to the kids, excited that the students are taking such an interest in solving a huge problem.
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