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Students Report On Effects Of Bottled Water

By Staff | Mar 11, 2009

Four Magnolia High School students attended the March 2 New Martinsville City Council meeting to give a report on the effects of bottled water.

The college prep students are conducting the project with the assistance of Mayor Lucille Blum. As a result of their research, they are now conducting a campaign to reduce the number of bottles of water the town’s residents consume.

Drew Schmalz read an article he wants to be published in the newspaper. It cites that in 2006 Americans used approximately 167 bottles of water per person and less than 30 percent of the bottles were recycled.

Lindsay Riggs presented a brochure her team created; it included her original artwork. Rebecca Briner highlighted that it takes approximately 700 to 1,000 years for a plastic bottle to decompose. She also passed around a photograph of the skeletal remains of a bird that was filled with plastic bottle caps and other plastic items it had apparently mistaken for food from the ocean.

Martin Whiteman reported that the best plastic bottles from which to consume water are marked with the #2 recycle symbol. This shows that they are made of high density polyethylene (HDPE). This is a reusable type of plastic. Bottles marked with a 1, 4, or 5 can emit harmful chemicals, he said, and should not be reused.

Finally, teacher Debbie Rothaker explained that the students are doing projects in concert with their research to relay the information according to their comfort levels.

Some students are preparing a puppet show for a kindergarten audience, some students will be giving a presentation to middle school students complete with fun learning experiences, and other students will be giving a Powerpoint presentation. They even hope to speak to the West Virginia legislature next year to perhaps get some related legislation introduced and passed.

“The students have really worked hard,” said Rothaker.

Councilmembers were very complimentary of their work and presentation.

Blum, a retired teacher, also complimented the teachers in attendance-Rothaker and Mark Lemasters.

“They’re willing to go the extra step and be here tonight,” she noted.