EMERALD ISLAND – Eighth-grade student Noah Swindell from Raleigh, whose family has a summer home on Emerald Isle, was concerned about the effects of plastics on beaches and marine life.
He made his concerns come true by creating and distributing 1,000 magnets with a message: “Join us in protecting the turtles, beaches and marine life of the Emerald Isle!” Remember to keep plastic bags out of the beach. Share your good deed with #skipthebags. “
With the support of his family and State Representative Pat McElraft R-Carteret, who lives in Emerald Isle, the young environmentalist spent Saturday delivering his magnets to Emerald Isle real estate companies for placement in their rental rooms, as well as in the premises of visitors to the city. Center.
Noah raised money to create the magnets and also donated checks to organizations advocating for less waste and less plastic on the beach.
The idea for her project started in February, when her school studied climate change and pollution. He emailed his concerns about the effects of plastics on the ocean and the environment to Representative McElraft, asking him to enact a law banning the use of plastic bags.
“I ask you to consider legislation to manage the use of plastic bags,” he said in an email Feb. 28 to representative McElraft. “I am concerned about the use of plastic bags due to the amount of animals in the seas that eat plastics as well as marine debris that disrupts natural habitats. Additionally, plastic bags take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills and even when they do, they release microplastics that are toxic to humans and other animals. “
Because legislation controlling the use of plastic bags on the Outer Banks was repealed by the General Assembly in 2017 after companies complained about the difficulty in getting customers to pay for recyclable bags, McElraft representative suggested Noah try an education campaign instead.
“They found that their tourists were bringing their plastic bags from their own country, so the requirement didn’t really solve the problem. With the repeal, customers have a choice of bags and are not required to purchase recyclable bags, ”she said in an email response to Noah.
“I really think education is the best medicine for plastic bags on the beach,” she continued. “The seaside towns have placed more well-located garbage cans on our beaches. If you’ve noticed all the garbage on the roads lately, I think it’s time to relaunch a waste removal campaign and increase the waste collection fees as well as raising awareness of non-waste collection. .
Noah followed up on the suggestion, and magnets with his message can now be seen at rental homes on Emerald Isle.
He thanked Rep. McElraft for her suggestion and said he planned to continue his efforts to clean up the beach.
“I plan to attend and participate in the cleanup of the beaches of Emerald Isle,” he said.
Representative McElraft said she was impressed with Noah’s passion for the environment and his conviction to take action.
“I was so impressed with this young man and his advocacy for marine life – not just talking, but keeping pace,” she said.
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; send an email to [email protected]; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.