GREENVILLE, Maine — Members of local Girl Scout Troop 710 are trying to reduce the waste stream one potato chip bag at a time.
The troop, which includes pupils from grade two to grade six in the Greenville schools, recognize that they can make a difference in the world even if they live in a small Maine community. And they aim to do just that.
“As Girl Scouts we promise to serve our country and live by the Girl Scout law,” Kathy Cobb, the troop’s leader, said this week. “This law says we are to be considerate of others. The trash we leave behind today is the trash the next generations will have to take care of.”
When the Scouts learned that the Frito-Lay company planned to stop making its biodegradable Sun Chip bag because consumers had complained the bag was too noisy, they fell into action. The Scouts organized a publicity campaign. They sent fliers home with pupils, reached out to other Scouting organizations for help, and e-mailed the company asking that it keep the environment in mind.
“We’ve got to hold onto this planet forever. You only have to deal with the bags as long as you eat the chips, so stick them [the chips] in a bowl,” Cobb said, quoting one troop member’s suggestion to those consumers offended by the crunchy-sounding bags.
Cobb said the Scouts know that Americans generate about 230 million tons of solid waste each year. Each person generates about 4.6 pounds of waste per day and 56 tons of trash per year, she noted.
“We generate more garbage than any other country by far,” Cobb said. “Landfills are the most common use for disposal of our trash and have been proven to contaminate drinking water in certain areas.”
In response to the troop’s campaign, the Frito-Lay company has advised the Scouts that it has heard their concerns and is trying to find a way to make everyone happy, according to Cobb.
For the Scouts, that means the company needs to respect the planet and continue packaging its products in biodegradable bags.
Those wishing to help the Scouts in the this venture can contact Frito-Lay in one of three ways: call 800-352-4477 from 9 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. Monday through Friday; write Frito-Lay, P.O. Box 660634, Dallas, TX, 75266-0634; or visit http://www.fritolay.com/about us/contact-us.html and complete the form under product complaint.