MARQUETTE — 22 million pounds of plastic enter the Great Lakes every year, just like Lake Superior behind me.
That’s why it’s important for local businesses like Vierling to help eliminate that waste.
“We just started a couple of months ago to only offering straws upon request to try to cut back on the plastic straw usage. We see every day the amount of waste that just us alone produce. We want to find a way to do our part, when were so proud of our downtown community and restaurants and businesses,” said Mary Bedore, Manager at Vierling.
When you drive by Lake Superior, the last thing you probably think about is all the plastic waste that goes into it.
The one scary thing about this plastic waste in particular is, that it can be affecting the water you drink every day.
“Plastic expands and it actually turns into a sponge and it leeches these really toxic chemicals into it. It absorbs all this kind of stuff from the ground. It is expanding and absorbing its breaking down in smaller pieces. We don’t even notice when were drinking our water filtration systems for our tap water,” said Andrea Denham, Assitant Director of U.P. Land Conservancy.
Reducing plastic waste in the community is not going to happen overnight, but what restaurants like the Vierling are doing is a good start.
“I’m very proud of the fact that were one of the first restaurants to do it, it’s something that I care a lot about. Something that I have done a lot in my personal life and so to see it in my work life now is very exciting. One we slow down with tourism, I would like to see what we could do to get the rest of downtown behind it,” added Bedore.
While this change can be hard for some, this change is well worth it for our environment in the long run.