Children lead effort to stop the use of plastic bags

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By Kirsten Laskey

Plastic bags have really left a mark on the environment. They are made from petroleum, harmful to animals, and rather than bio-degrading, plastic bags are photodegradable; the sun breaks the bags into smaller and smaller parts, but these pieces never go away.

As a result, members of the Pajarito Envrionmental Education Center’s Kinnikinnick Club, a nature club for students in grade four through six, are working to wipe away the mark left by plastic bags on the environment.

The goal, said Michele Altherr, sponsor of the nature club, is to encourage the community to abandon adding to any of their collections of wadded up tan and white bags and use instead the various canvas bags available right here in Los Alamos.

To accomplish this, club members have formed a campaign, called Invest In Me, and currently have taken it to Smith’s Food and Drug Centers in White Rock and Los Alamos.

Posters have been mounted to advertisement stands, and club members screened a Power Point presentation to Smith’s employees. For its part, Smith’s offers customers who sack their groceries in reusable bags a 5-cent rebate.

Additionally, Smith’s donated 1,860 reusable bags during local Earth Day festivities.