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Editor of the Reformer,

Re: "Teaching for change: Bennington professor inspires youth to reduce plastic pollution," Nov. 2:

I am a student of Judith Enck's introductory class, 'Plastic Pollution and What Students Can Do About It.' In this class I have learned lots! Such as, did you know that many marine organisms cannot tell the difference between plastic and food, and thus starve to death with stomachs filled with indigestible trash? The latest horrific report of this problem was in baby turtle deaths in Florida; one died with 104 pieces of plastic in its otherwise empty stomach. This is due to the fact that baby turtles, as well as most other marine organisms, cannot tell the difference between plastic and food. An estimated 100 million marine animals die painfully each year due to plastic pollution. We need to work together to reduce our plastic waste and end unnecessary deaths! Here are three easy swaps that can significantly lessen the amount of single use plastic you use:

1. Stop using plastic straws. Instead, carry a reusable one or don't use one to begin with.

2. BYOB. In this case, Bring Your Own Bags when going shopping.

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3. Ditch single-use cups. Have a reusable coffee mug or water bottle on you. You can ask vendors to fill your own cup instead of their soon-to-be garbage ones.

Ren Barnes

Bennington College, Nov. 20