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March 7 'Trash Talk' to focus on environmental, economic impacts of disposable bags

March 4, 2013

SustainabilityEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Trash Talk lecture series will continue with a presentation titled "Paper or plastic? How about neither!" at 7 p.m. March 7 in the basement social room of Towers Hall South.

The presentation will feature Andrew Werthmann, a 2006 UW-Eau Claire graduate and current Eau Claire city council member; and Dr. Douglas Faulkner, chair of the UW-Eau Claire geography and anthropology department.

Werthmann will discuss a resolution he is bringing forward which would address the issue of disposable bags in the community. He said that on average, every Eau Claire resident uses upward of 330 disposable bags each year.

"It's clear to me that using disposable bags is not a good use of limited resources or energy and the additional downside is that the bags end up filling our landfill and littering our waterways and parks," Werthmann said.

Faulkner's presentation, subtitled "The Plastic Bag — an Odyssey (Polymers Are Forever)," will focus on how plastic bags are made, why they are ubiquitous and where they ultimately end up. Environmental impacts of plastic bags also will be discussed.

Trash Talks, sponsored by Housing and Residence Life, are free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public. A short question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

For more information, contact Kate Hartsel, housing sustainability coordinator, at hartseka@uwec.edu.

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