HOUGHTON–A group of Houghton Middle School students led a presentation about their findings on the negative impacts of burning plastic at the Community Art Center in Hancock.

The ten eighth graders teamed up for the Lexus EcoChallenge, which allows students to solve local environmental issues. While the team has two ongoing projects, their presentation focused on the harmful effects of burning garbage, an environmental issue found mostly in rural areas.

“We’re also doing a project on dioxins, which we’re volunteering for here. We’re trying to reduce backyard burning, which will stop the release of dioxins,” said Lexus EcoChallenge Team Member Seojun Yoon.

After the presentation, the team helped Summer Arts Camp students upcycle bottle and marker caps to make works of art.

“Any extra bottle caps will be sent to a facility that does recycle plastic bottle caps because the one here just separates them and sends them to a landfill once they reach Wisconsin. We’re just trying to raise awareness,” said Lexus EcoChallenge Team Member Leah Burkey.

Plastic cap collection buckets are currently at Festival Foods and Econo Foods in Houghton, Pat’s Foods in Hancock and Houghton Middle School.