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Maggie Karlin, PS Science Teacher & Environmental Club Advisor

On November 20, the Prep School's Environmental Club hosted another virtual guest speaker. Daniel Rubin shared his work as acting director for the Global Livingston Institute. GLI is a non-profit organization, run primarily in Uganda and Rwanda, that aims to educate, empower and improve communities by listening to stakeholders on a local level and building international partnerships to help meet their needs. One major project for the organization is developing recycling centers throughout East Africa to change the way people use and dispose of plastics. This project is in partnership with the Coca-Cola Corporation, and though still in its early stages, has recycled tons (literally) of plastic and used proceeds to fund education for children in the community where the recycling centers are located. These centers also keep plastics from the incinerators where they would emit harmful toxins when burned. Mr. Rubin's presentation was followed by a Q&A session, where students asked questions about what it takes to build a project like the GLI recycling initiatives, and what obstacles recycling programs in East Africa face compared to the issues recycling systems face in the U.S. Furthermore, students drew astute connections between this presentation on recycling plastic and the last guest speaker's presentation on reducing single-use plastics. This brought about the opportunity to discuss and consider environmental sustainability, the "triple-bottom-line" that also incorporates economic viability and the power of government intervention to make recycling initiatives more efficient. 

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