Cary, NC – It is estimated around eight million tons of plastic waste go into the ocean every year. A Cary Girl Scout created a project to educate people about ways to reduce this waste and has earned the organization’s top award.
Educating About Ocean Pollution
Carly Stines, a Girl Scout and senior at Panther Creek High School, came up with the project after her experience with surfing and kayaking in North Carolina waters.
“Throughout the paddles, we would see plastic waste all the time. And I see a lot more protection against trash on the coast than I do inland,” Stines said.
With her project, Sea Change: Getting at the Source of Marine Plastic Pollution, Stines aims to educate people about plastic waste. She partnered with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to learn from their instructors.
Stines is one of only 5 percent of Girl Scouts who attain a Gold Award annually.
Ways to Reduce Waste
Stine said single-use plastics were a big focus of her project.
“This can be plastic bottles, plastic straws, plastic silverware. Anything you use once and then throw away,” Stines said. “The goal is to completely cut off the use of single-use plastics. We encouraged people to use reusable shopping bags, water bottles and use metal silverware.”
Through the project, Stines said she enjoyed meeting educators and hearing many different viewpoints.
“I got to talk with people from all different age groups about these topics that interest me,” Stines said.
When Stines goes to college, she said she would like to continue with this field and study conservation or biology.
Story by Michael Papich. Photo courtesy of Hillary Daniels and Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines.