CommunityClass Act


Salish Kootenai College students working to protect the environment

Posted at 3:00 PM, May 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-07 17:44:32-04

PABLO – Climate change, plastic use our environment — these are some of the most relative and important conversations going on in our current politics.

Students at Salish Kootenai College are working on a project to make our environment and help people get out and participate in making needed changes.

“Really want to see this kind of integrate into the entire reservation and not just be a campus thing for us but to actually be a community-wide awareness program to where we can actually be taking waste off of the streets and be turning it into a commodity that we can turn into a product that we can actually utilize and profit from,” coordinator Ian McRyhew said.

So far, the SKC single-use plastics elimination petition has garnered more than 100 signatures — with a promise to be more conscious of their plastic use and eliminate single-use plastics presence on campus.

The petition is only part of their project as organizers also plan to educate people about recycling with new signage around campus.

What makes this project unique is that for all plastics that continue to be brought onto campus they hope to recycle them and create discs used to play Frisbee Golf- or Frolf for short.

“The tragic thing about plastics is that they take like over 400 years to degrade and they’re still toxic so we see them breaking down into microplastics which are smaller than an eraser head,” said Forestry Recycling Coordinator Morgan Schultz.

“We need to seriously get on board with projects like this that are looking to tackle these toxic issues in our society because we’re focused on growing growing growing and we’re not really doing it sustainably

The group has already secured a space on campus to begin creating products out of used plastic on campus and now they are looking into vendors to begin helping them construct the machinery needed for the process.

Story by Lauren Heiser, MTN News