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Scripps College

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Program Name

Iceland and Greenland: Climate Change and The Arctic

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to bring awareness to plastic pollution and find a way integrate plastic recycling workshops in a smaller community. Plastic pollution is a worldwide issue. Plastic is a versatile material and can be used to make almost anything, which is an attractive trait but the amount of plastic being consumed is alarming and only continues to increase. Plastic essentially never goes away because the degradation of plastic can last hundreds of years. The challenge is to find ways that everyone can recycle plastic because over 90% of plastic does not end up being recycled. Most plastic ends up in the marine or terrestrial environment and eventually breaks down in microplastics that inflict danger on species and can enter food chains. Interviews were conducted with a precious plastic organization member and educators for perspective on bringing this to an educational setting or small town community. The research has identified that it is possible to set up a small recycling workshop in a community. A workshop began to be set up in at the local high school in Ísafjörður, Iceland. There is still more developing to be done but the ground work has been laid. A plastic shredder was set up, plastic was collected and shredded, a mold was welded together, and plastic was melted down, and finally milled to create a final product. The final product was a lunchbox and represents how normal household plastic can be turned into something useful and it can reduce plastic usage in the future.

Disciplines

Environmental Health | Environmental Studies | International and Area Studies | Pharmacology, Toxicology and Environmental Health

 

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