No Plastic Bag – Protect the Environment and Make a Change

DAIS No Plastic Bag club was created to spread environmental awareness and protect the world around us.

We now live in a fantastic world full of commodities and opportunities. We buy new things every day (and get rid of old ones too…), stay warm and comfortable, eat and drink well. But don’t we take this abundance of things for granted? Do we protect the nature enough?

Mike, Cindy, and their friends from Dalian American International School decided to take action. Their No Plastic Bag club was created to spread environmental awareness and protect the world around us.

Recycling on campus

We at DAIS are proud to be an environmentally friendly campus. Instead of adhesive tape, we prefer rope or butyl rubber adhesives. Our single-use canteen lunch boxes are made of recycled paper, but we encourage everyone to take reusable trays and stainless steel forks and knives if possible. School offices use paper bags instead of plastic ones, and each classroom has a special box to collect paper, boxes and other recyclable materials that students may also use to create art and design projects. 

But the amount of waste is still too high. Is there anything that we can do with that?

How the club was born

Four years ago, an English Language teacher decided to show a documentary about the harm of plastic to Grade 8 students. This video piece resulted in a heated debate and a serious emotional impact on students.

Cindy and Mike, the founders of No Plastic Bags Club, are recalling: “That was the first time we knew that plastic bags are used so much in the world! An ordinary plastic bag will only fall into small pieces in 500 years, and those won’t disappear for thousands of years! We were shocked by the content of the documentary, and we walked out of the classroom with a heavy heart.” They searched the internet again after class, and found out that the situation is really serious.

The fact is that every single piece of plastic that has been ever made on earth is still there, and won’t disappear for hundreds and thousands of years. Small particles are accumulated in water and soil, produce toxic substances, infiltrate plants and animals, and finally endanger us, the human race.

Our students couldn’t stand aside and do nothing about that. They formed a club, created a logo for it, made some colorful posters, and started to spread the word about the danger of plastic.

We try to reduce plastic pollution

There is a thing that every one of us uses every day: a plastic bag. It is cheap, convenient, don’t weigh too much, and is available everywhere. But is it environmentally friendly? And is there a better option?

Mike is absolutely sure it exists. “We urge everyone not to use plastic bags and replace them with recyclable bags. This is the best way. But if you really need plastic bags, try to reuse them as much as possible and limit their number.”

Many students on campus consume bottled water and other drinks during the school day. Cindy decided to lead classmates by example and carry a reusable bottle to school. She refused to buy water and beverages in plastic bottles, and took out her own bottle from the backpack every time she was thirsty. This was very inspiring, and now many students and teachers follow her example.

No Plastic Bag

To spread the word, the club members held a lot of activities on DAIS campus as well as outside the school: exhibitions, lectures, promotional events.

Cindy contacted her primary school in Dalian that she attended as a small child and shared her thoughts and experience with the students, and Mike went to Songlin Primary School in Dalian Development Area to let children know about the danger of plastic. They also held a public event in Tongniuling Scenic Spot in DDA. “Sometimes when you tell children that plastic products are very harmful, they don’t believe you. For them plastic bottles and plastic bags are simple daily necessities. But it doesn’t matter, it just means that we need to give more lectures and educate people.”

To encourage everyone to use cloth bags instead of plastic ones, students from No Plastic Bag club bought some new textile bags, decorated them, and held a charity sale. This initiative was highly praised.

The initiative is supported by school leaders

The club never stops to search for new opportunities to spread the concept of green environment. In 2018, Mike and Cindy met with Ms. Lisa Liang, the DAIS CEO, and put forward some suggestions for improving the school’s environmental protection. One of their initiatives was to reduce using plastic tableware and cutlery in school cafeterias, as well as selling food in plastic bags. Students also donated some cloth bags to the café and asked the employees to reuse them. 

The club members can see that there are still many things on campus that can be improved, but with some effort supported by the school leadership team they are hopeful for more positive changes.

Mike and Cindy believe that this work does not mean heroically saving the earth. Our planet survived a lot of disasters in 4,6 billion years, including volcanic eruptions, asteroids, tectonic activity, but is still alive. The environment deterioration has its most impact on human beings. So protecting the environment is protecting ourselves! Taking small steps, like refusing to take a plastic bag or to buy another bottle of water, we can finally have a big influence on our world, making it safer and healthier.

We now live in a fantastic world full of commodities and opportunities. We buy new things every day (and get rid of old ones too…), stay warm and comfortable, eat and drink well. But don’t we take this abundance of things for granted? Do we protect the nature enough?

Mike, Cindy, and their friends from Dalian American International School decided to take action. Their No Plastic Bag club was created to spread environmental awareness and protect the world around us.

Recycling on campus

We at DAIS are proud to be an environmentally friendly campus. Instead of adhesive tape, we prefer rope or butyl rubber adhesives. Our single-use canteen lunch boxes are made of recycled paper, but we encourage everyone to take reusable trays and stainless steel forks and knives if possible. School offices use paper bags instead of plastic ones, and each classroom has a special box to collect paper, boxes and other recyclable materials that students may also use to create art and design projects. 

But the amount of waste is still too high. Is there anything that we can do with that?

How the club was born

Four years ago, an English Language teacher decided to show a documentary about the harm of plastic to Grade 8 students. This video piece resulted in a heated debate and a serious emotional impact on students.

Cindy and Mike, the founders of No Plastic Bags Club, are recalling: “That was the first time we knew that plastic bags are used so much in the world! An ordinary plastic bag will only fall into small pieces in 500 years, and those won’t disappear for thousands of years! We were shocked by the content of the documentary, and we walked out of the classroom with a heavy heart.” They searched the internet again after class, and found out that the situation is really serious.

The fact is that every single piece of plastic that has been ever made on earth is still there, and won’t disappear for hundreds and thousands of years. Small particles are accumulated in water and soil, produce toxic substances, infiltrate plants and animals, and finally endanger us, the human race.

Our students couldn’t stand aside and do nothing about that. They formed a club, created a logo for it, made some colorful posters, and started to spread the word about the danger of plastic.

We try to reduce plastic pollution

There is a thing that every one of us uses every day: a plastic bag. It is cheap, convenient, don’t weigh too much, and is available everywhere. But is it environmentally friendly? And is there a better option?

Mike is absolutely sure it exists. “We urge everyone not to use plastic bags and replace them with recyclable bags. This is the best way. But if you really need plastic bags, try to reuse them as much as possible and limit their number.”

Many students on campus consume bottled water and other drinks during the school day. Cindy decided to lead classmates by example and carry a reusable bottle to school. She refused to buy water and beverages in plastic bottles, and took out her own bottle from the backpack every time she was thirsty. This was very inspiring, and now many students and teachers follow her example.

No Plastic BagTo spread the word, the club members held a lot of activities on DAIS campus as well as outside the school: exhibitions, lectures, promotional events.

Cindy contacted her primary school in Dalian that she attended as a small child and shared her thoughts and experience with the students, and Mike went to Songlin Primary School in Dalian Development Area to let children know about the danger of plastic. They also held a public event in Tongniuling Scenic Spot in DDA. “Sometimes when you tell children that plastic products are very harmful, they don’t believe you. For them plastic bottles and plastic bags are simple daily necessities. But it doesn’t matter, it just means that we need to give more lectures and educate people.”

To encourage everyone to use cloth bags instead of plastic ones, students from No Plastic Bag club bought some new textile bags, decorated them, and held a charity sale. This initiative was highly praised.

The initiative is supported by school leaders

The club never stops to search for new opportunities to spread the concept of green environment. In 2018, Mike and Cindy met with Ms. Lisa Liang, the DAIS CEO, and put forward some suggestions for improving the school’s environmental protection. One of their initiatives was to reduce using plastic tableware and cutlery in school cafeterias, as well as selling food in plastic bags. Students also donated some cloth bags to the café and asked the employees to reuse them. 

The club members can see that there are still many things on campus that can be improved, but with some effort supported by the school leadership team they are hopeful for more positive changes.

Mike and Cindy believe that this work does not mean heroically saving the earth. Our planet survived a lot of disasters in 4,6 billion years, including volcanic eruptions, asteroids, tectonic activity, but is still alive. The environment deterioration has its most impact on human beings. So protecting the environment is protecting ourselves! Taking small steps, like refusing to take a plastic bag or to buy another bottle of water, we can finally have a big influence on our world, making it safer and healthier.