By Sairra and Eleonora
The latest IPCC UN report on climate change stated last week that we have 12 years left to limit climate change or our world won’t be the same anymore. Every year, Americans dump generate 10.5 million tons of plastic waste into our oceans, killing hundreds of animals.
At part of a response to this dramatic report, Dubai American Academy has made the decision to remove all plastic bottles from the campus. Our school uses over 2,500 plastic bottles in a week.
We interviewed one of the Slices members to ask him what he thinks about the situation:
Q: Out of work, do you drink from a plastic bottle or a reusable one?
A: “In general I do have my own tumbler.”
Q: How do you feel about the school removing plastic water bottles?
A: “Removing plastic water bottles is quite hard for students and adults but for me, it’s fine; I’m happy with removing plastic water bottles. There are still other types of plastic such as juice and milk containers but we can’t remove everything at the same time.
We’re starting slowly; last year we removed plastic forks and knives and replaced them with the wooden ones. Step by step we’re trying to remove all plastic in Slices. Plastic, however, didn’t come from the actual company Slices, but from GEMS itself, so the decision came from the head office itself. I think next year, there’s going to be way less plastic in the school, not just this one but many others because of the GEMS policy.”
Q: How do students feel about it?
A: “Well, we started in Ramadan so that it could be less painful for students, but it’s still challenging and they’re not happy because it’s hard for them to not have the possibility to buy water. They’re saying it doesn’t make sense because there are still other plastics available. However, I think that if you need to start, you have to make small changes.
I understand why they’re mad, but there were signs all over the school spreading this message and letting them know, while other schools started the campaign right after Spring Break and it was a surprise for the students not to have water anymore. Not everyone is like this though; there are students from Grade 11 or 12 that are supporting it and are willing to help us by making announcements and asking for feedback.”
Q: What about the parents?
A: “In the coffee shops, parents are not happy either. Teachers are the only happy people about removing water bottles, and they think it’s a good idea and agree and support it.”
Q. What are you going to do about the people complaining?
A:“We’re firstly going to try to put reusable cups next to the water dispensers. We as Slices are going to wash the used cups in a washing machine.”