• Haein Shin

How much plastic is in your school?

Please take a look at this fantastic study and post by one of our most active Eco Ambassadors, Aalok Bhatt.


My name is Aalok Bhatt and I am a sophomore in Millburn High School, New Jersey, and an Eco Ambassador for the Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) at Earth Institute, Columbia University and SDSN program.

Miss. Priya Patel of the Millburn Green Team, asked me and another student to create a survey in order to get more information about the plastic consumption habits of students in our school.

The survey got a good response as 1082 students participated in it, which is over ⅔ of the student body. To get such a high number of respondents, I had to put in a lot of effort to get the word out.

The first thing I did was to speak to all the class presidents to send out the survey. Unfortunately, I did not get enough responses so I decided to speak to the principal of MHS, Dr Miron, requesting him to send out the survey in a school wide email.

He did so and even reminded students to fill out the survey on the loudspeaker 2 times!

While analyzing the results of the survey, I saw that 57.9% of respondents never bring reusable cutlery to school. I was shocked when I saw this statistic and realised that a lot of work needs to be done in terms of convincing students to bring their own cutlery, and persuade the school to provide less or no plastic cutlery.

In order to achieve this, I, along with members of the High School Environmental team, plan to speak to Dr Burton (the superintendent of Millburn Public Schools), and Mrs Schnider (who handles the school’s finances) to lobby for reduced disposable cutlery in our school.

On a positive note, most of the results leaned to the environmentally friendly side, which gives me hope that we will be able to combat this problem in an expeditious manner.

Click here to see my findings!

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