The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday January 15th

No plastic accepted: Follow the law: Don’t throw away plastic bottles

Think twice before buying bottled water next time.

As of Thursday, it is illegal in North Carolina to throw plastic bottles away.

The new law, which was passed in 2005, is the latest in a solid environmental effort by the N.C. General Assembly.

The law is going to be difficult to enforce, so North Carolina residents — and especially the University community — should take it upon themselves to comply.

From 2007 to 2008, the University — not including UNC Hospitals — generated 5,384 tons of waste for the landfill.

Land’s a precious resource, and it’s irresponsible to keep using it for trash.

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources estimates that more than 2.4 billion plastic bottles would not be put in landfills annually if all bottles were recycled.

This law aims to do just that.

Each year, the University recycles about 245 tons of aluminum cans and plastic bottles. But we’ve all seen the trash bins overflowing with plastics after football games.

We can improve.

This new law is a call to action for the University community.

It should prompt us to reexamine not just where we throw our waste but also why we’re producing that waste.

The easiest way to curb the amount of plastic in the landfill is to stop using single-use plastic containers.

Now that it’s illegal to throw those containers away, students should think twice about buying bottled water and soda.

Take a cue from the legislature and be responsible.

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