Letter to the Editor

 

I’m writing to express my concern with the obsessive use of plastics in the Helena West-Helena community. Now, I know that you’re reading this wondering why this should matter to you, but I’m positive that you will understand in a bit.

I love having a good old fashioned BBQ and fish fry with family and friends. Laughs can be heard from miles away with blues music playing in the background. Oh and let’s not forget the food! Let’s head downtown to pick up a few things needed before we start the BBQ.  Alright, we’re going to grab some plastic plates because no one wants to wash dishes, plastic utensils (the value pack where you get the combo of forks, knives, and spoons) since they’re affordable, foam cups for pop, foam plates to pack food up, and plastic wrap to keep the annoying flies off the chicken. What does everything that I listed have in common? EVERYTHING IS EITHER PLASTIC OR STYROFOAM. Not only are these things terrible for the environment, but the chemicals leak into our delicious food and into our bodies. The chemicals are already in the styrofoam, but we worsen it when we warm the food up. Now I know that if you’re anything like my family, you’ll use these foam plates and pack them to the top with food to save and heat it up a few hours later. Let’s not forget about the plastic bags that held all of the things from the store. Pretty ironic how you’re carrying plastic in plastic.

At the end of the day everything is thrown away, the garbage man comes to pick up the trash, and all of our problems disappear. WRONG! The plastic doesn’t go anywhere but into the river, littered in our streets, and tiny pieces are even in the animals we eat. That’s right, the fried fish you ate earlier definitely had micro pieces of plastic in it. Did you know that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the water than fish? I grew up in Elaine, Arkansas and I know that fishing is both fun and a cheaper way to provide dinner. I’m not claiming to be an expert on this, but I’m slowly learning about how something as small as a plastic bag could have such a large impact on the entire world.

Arkansas has the slogan of the “natural state” and that couldn’t be anymore false. You know what I’m talking about. Trash is littered in our parks, on the side of the highway, in our ditches, and even right outside the trash can. If more people understood the severity of the plastic pollution problem, our state slogan could be true.

 

Sincerely,

Kayla Liggins

Elaine, Arkansas