The 2016 spring semester here at North Carolina State University has started with many changes. One that many students have probably noticed is that there are no longer plastic bags in the Atrium. Instead, they have been replaced with paper bags. Students at NCSU did this by petitioning to get rid of the plastic bags, and it is very exciting to see something the students want being enforced. The students wanted the plastic bags gone because they were not recyclable, so the new recyclable paper bags are a huge step forward. However, as I observe other students in the Atrium, I can see that these new commodities are being misused. The bags in the Atrium are only meant for if you are getting food and not eat near the Atrium. If you are eating inside the Atrium, right outside the Atrium, or even in D.H. Hill you should not need to carry your food in one of the paper bags.
Even though I thought this was common knowledge I saw many students just taking bags to get them. Some of them got their food, sat down right inside, took out their food, and crumpled their bag up. It is a waste. What some people do not understand is just because something is recyclable does not mean you should just use them for no actual reason. It takes resources to convert recyclable material into new products. Therefore, the unnecessary production costs and emissions from the paper waste are bad for the environment. One way that unnecessary bag use can be eliminated is if the student body is educated on the matter. Signs can be placed near the bag pickup location to tell the students about the issue. In conclusion, please only use the paper bags if you are not eating near the Atrium, and if you do get one make, sure you are recycling them.