CAMDEN — On Tuesday, June 18, a group of seven Camden-Rockport Middle School students dropped off some re-usable shopping bags at Megunticook Market at 2 Gould Street. The seventh-graders made the bags by hand using their own graphic designs.
This was one of the culminating events to a recent project in which students were trying to answer the question, "Do we have a problem with plastic in Camden/Rockport?"
Susan Burwell, cultural arts and family and consumer science instructor at CRMS, said over the last several months the students have studied the plastic problem in social studies classes and linking learning to the plastic bag ban in Camden.
“Students also looked for and found micro-plastics from the harbor water in science class, tracking plastic garbage from lunch in math class,” she said. “Students designed graphics for their bags to convince people to reduce plastic waste in language arts class, and finally sewing re-usable bags for their family or the community.”
Burwell said students also participated in a number of special events during the last CRMS early release day including river cleanup, a visit to the transfer station, going out on a boat into the harbor, and taking water samples.
“We learned about the zero-waste lifestyle,” she said. “Also partnering with Camden/Rockport Elementary School to help with efforts to replace cafe plastic utensils with re-useable metal ones, and checking out cafe recycling at Camden Hills Regional High School to get input about our own recycling at the new CRMS.”
Lani Stiles, the owner of Megunticook Market, said the bags are all gone.
“We couldn’t believe it,” she said. “Our customers really responded to it and thought it was just the neatest project. It was such a community-oriented project to support what the town is doing with the plastic bag ordinance.”
Stiles said she supported the efforts to save our planet and environment.
“We were honored to be selected as a place to put their bags and share with our community,” she said. “We gave the bags away and had some signs up saying it was the seventh grade class from CRMS. It was such a pleasure to meet the kids cause each one of them had a different bag with a design on it. They were all handmade and they were so proud of their efforts. It was just really a pleasure to meet them.”