Repurposing Plastic Trash

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CSUMB ’14 – Environmental Studies

We did it! Congratulations to the class of 2014! Now this post isn’t about all of our achievements, but instead the “green” achievements of California State University Monterey Bay. I am beyond proud of my school and their constant attempt to be a more environmentally friendly campus. Yesterday at graduation, all of the graduates sported gowns made of recycled plastic bottles – also known as “Repreve” (material made from recyclable materials). It takes approximately 29 plastic bottles to make these graduation gowns, according to Herff Jones – the gown’s producers. In 2012 alone, United States’ production of Repreve had reclaimed over 410 million recycled plastic bottles! That’s a lot of plastic waste!

Repurposing our plastic trash is a great way to reduce the amount of plastic pollution that enters our oceans each year. Plastic bags, bottles, and packaging can all be reused as long as your willing to get in touch with your creative side. While doing a quick search on the internet for repurposing ideas, I found several neat items made from plastic trash. These items include: furniture, pieces of art, purses, shoes, articles of clothing, woven baskets, even a homemade sprinkler! Even if you lack this creative style, you can simply reuse your plastic bags or bottles in their simplest form. For example, some of my friends like to keep all of their plastic shopping bags and use them as trash bin liners. Also, by thoroughly washing your plastic items, you could reuse them several times before properly disposing of them; such as plastic Ziploc bags. So before you go tossing all of your used items in the trash, stop to think about how you could possibly reuse the product. Many people forget the 3rd “R” in Surfrider’s slogan: Refuse, Reduce, REUSE, recycle! If we all take the time to reduce the amount of trash that enters our oceans and landfills and find ways to reuse these items, we could further protect the environment from harm.

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