Potter Library takes sustainable initiative in eliminating plastic bags

Photo courtesy of George T. Potter Library, Instagram

Social distancing on campus has required many different resources to get creative with their methods of connecting with Ramapo students. Being one of the biggest assets to any student, the temporary George T. Potter Library made sure books were accessible.

They promoted their new access on Instagram, with a photo of books bagged and ready for pick up. This presentation did not sit well with sustainability activists from Ramapo.

Comments soon flooded in asking about the necessity of using plastic bags. Students commented that surface contact has been disproven as a major spread of the virus, and therefore single use plastic is not needed.

Better sustainable practices are a prominent cause on Ramapo’s campus. Ramapo Green, the overarching organization of all sustainable clubs on campus, has been pushing for a variety of different improvements, including severely limiting the presence of single-use plastics.

Plastic shopping bags are a long time enemy of nature-lovers. Whether they’re filling up landfills or being mistaken for jellyfish, their role in the ecosystem is no good.

The library heard the students, commenting back to invite collaboration between the students and future endeavors. Change was made quickly, and the original post has since been deleted.

In their new post, the library wrote “Curbside pickup is a great way to still check out library materials,” and added, “Please bring your own bag, or we have some if you need one.” The books in this photo are posed in stacks, out in the sun, ready to be picked up plastic free.

“Thank you for taking action on combating plastic pollution,” commented student Patrick Monahan. “Every step counts!”

Change happens quickly when students take initiative. The same students who asked for change filled the new comments section with thanks and emoji hearts, seeing their efforts turn into actions.