This semester, health education students taking, Health Promotion Strategies, have begun a campaign to educate others on campus about the dangers of using plastic, especially plastic bottles and cups, in hopes that Bridgewater State University students will cut down or stop their use of these items.


The campaign titled, “Don’t Drink the Oil,” takes place during the week of November 17 and is meant to get people thinking about the negative health and environmental effects of plastic use.


“The project based approach to learning that we use in this class enables students to learn while doing,” said Dr. Lydia Burak, Professor of Health Education and Promotion. “They learn about health promotion interventions by planning and implementing interventions. It’s a win-win situation, students learn skills and maybe the campus will become a little bit healthier.”


Based on a survey conducted for this campaign on campus, the vast majority of BSU students use plastic bottles and cups on a weekly basis even though most of the students surveyed are somewhat aware that plastic use does have negative health and environmental consequences.


The chemicals used to make plastic bottles and cups have shown to interfere with the human endocrine system which regulates hormones throughout the body. This can lead to birth defects, cancer, and developmental problems in babies and children.


Each year, 15-17 million barrels of oil are used to manufacture, transport, and dispose of plastic bottles in the United States. This is enough oil to fuel over 100,000 cars for an entire year.   


Millions of plastic bottles and cups are being used on a daily basis. The majority of these products ends up in landfills and can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade. While taking up space in landfills, these plastics can leach harmful chemicals into groundwater potentially poisoning wildlife and humans as well.

By Jennifer Hruniak, Special to The Comment

To learn more about the campaign, visit’tdrinktheoil.

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