Living in the plastic crisis: a study of student awareness & behaviour regarding single-Use plastics on Lakehead University Campus
Honours Bachelor of Environmental Management
DisciplineNatural Resources Management
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Human induced plastic pollution is causing undeniable devastation among Earth’s natural resources. As research concerning the crisis begins to progress, it is important that its data includes human awareness and behaviours regarding plastics’ utilization. University students may be an important demographic for this investigation, as they resemble highly diverse communities which exhibit a wide array of consumption habits. Ultimately, these habits often result in varying consequences among the environment, as many include improper waste disposal and use. Despite the devastating evidence of plastics’ effects on our health and the environment, LU appears to be withholding the key tools and information needed for its students to consume and utilize plastics responsibly. In this paper, 381 active LU students were assessed through an online questionnaire to observe personal awareness, usage, and disposal of plastic waste on campus. Evaluation of willingness to improve was also examined. Most were found to be aware of plastic pollution’s consequences, yet many were uneducated about proper methods of utilization and disposal on campus. Additionally, it was observed that most were willing to reduce their consumption, if not already, through advanced initiatives if implemented by the university. A condensed list of recommendations was developed for Lakehead University’s benefit
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