Help Me Reduce Environmental Contamination in NYS

Help Me Reduce Environmental Contamination in NYS

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Valeria Ruiz Restrepo started this petition to New York State Senate and

Since COVID impacted the world, plastic usage and contamination have increased dramatically. According to USA Today, "plastic bags have reemerged after some retailers temporarily banned reusable bags. Several states, including California, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and New York, took steps to delay, weaken or reverse laws banning plastic bags."

From half a trillion consumed plastic bottles, 91% of them are not recycled, and with only 9% reused, scientists predict that in 2050, the oceans contain more plastics than life itself. OceanAsia estimates that 1.56 billion face masks will have entered oceans in 2020. However, these predicted outcomes can be invalid if we try to stop them.

For a cleaner ecosystem, I would like to encourage classmates and teachers at my school (EHHS on Long Island) and at a state-level to recycle plastic bottles, bags, and cans. With the health advisor’s help (Mr. Stewart) and the environmental awareness club advisor’s support (Mr. Peterson), I will hang posters around the school to show different ways to help our environment. Also, I will trade these materials at local markets to collect money and donate every .5 cents per bottle to environment awareness organizations. The Nature Conservancy here in East Hampton and the New York state’s Waterkeeper Alliance, for example, will help me transmit and expand my message to reduce contamination and poor disposal. Additionally, the funds will be used as an incentive to recycle and buy recycling bins for schools and materials to clean the trash at local places. 

Due to the Pandemic, recent contamination we encounter on our planet has expanded to masks, gloves, and massive medical materials disposal. Our new threats to the environment are face masks and derivatives. If we do not prevent them from filling our oceans, these items will eventually kill marine life and accelerate the predicted process of greater accumulation of plastic bottles in our oceans. Therefore, I provide this petition to ask the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to immediately take action into NYS’s contamination at parks, beaches, streets, etc. Also, East Hampton Town and East Hampton School District must declare natural emergency in our areas to emphasize how impactful these issues have been in local areas. Teaching good habits of recycling and how to dispose of face masks in these new times. 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

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