Fifth graders give presentation raising awareness about plastic pollution

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Fifth graders from local schools gave a presentation to fellow classmates and adults about human plastic consumption and how it affects the environment on Friday.

City and county leaders also attended the presentation.

The students were from the Charlottesville Day School, Tandem Friends, the Village School, St. Anne's Belfield and the Peabody School.

The students were looking to raise awareness about the issue and how society can help solve the problem.

Charlottesville Day School student Lila Castleman said the issue is very important to her and she wants to be part of the solution.

"I think that we could actually change something and this could really help," said Castleman. "It's really important that plastic stops getting wasted."

She said that by the year 2050, the number of straws that will be in the ocean will outnumber the amount of fish in the sea.

Castleman said we all need to find plastic alternatives so we do not create any more waste.

"There are bamboo straws, pasta straws and paper straws," said Castleman. "Using those are a pretty easy switch. I think that they could help."

Juice Laundry owner Mike Keenan spoke at Friday's event, complementing the students on their research and passion for the issue.

He hopes the presentation leaves a lasting impact on the adults in attendance.

"I think it's really cool that stuff like this is happening in our city," said Keenan. "I hope that it has some impact on the decision makers, the adults, the business owners because having kids have to tell us this, it's a little bit sad but if that's what it takes, then that's what it takes."

Seeing kids raise awareness about plastic pollution was encouraging to Keenan because he believes that kids in today's society are going to be tasked with finding the solution for the problem.

"They are going to be the ones to solve this problem," said Keenan. "They are the ones who have the passion to do it. They understand from a young age, how big of a problem that it is. And that's something that adults don't have. And it's really the kids who are going to bring about the change here."

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