Student Activists Take to City Council Aiming to Ban Plastic Within Sedro-Woolley

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by Madisun Tobisch

Sedro-Woolley High School senior and President of the Earth Club Zoe Slabodnik stands before Sedro-Woolley Mayor Julia Johnson and the rest of the city council. Slodnik’s speech touched on the environmental impact of paper and plastic bags

Madisun Tobisch

Two Sedro-Woolley High School students took to the February city council meeting last week to ask the members of the council to reconsider their decision on an ordinance originally voted down in 2018.
Senior Zoe Slabodnik and junior Katya Mastko each made a three-minute speech to the council regarding the Single Use Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance.
“I feel like members of the community should know about these things a little bit more,” said Slabodnik, who despite her activism in local environmental works, was up until recently unaware of the original vote.
Some council members agree that it is time to take a second look at the ordinance that would make a large impact on the businesses of Sedro-Woolley.
Councilwoman Germaine Kornegay, who met Slabodnik through Skagit Trail Builders, was for the ordinance two years ago, and has continued her support for a more environmentally focused city.
Kornegay praised both students and believes that hearing from youth will help the fight to eventually pass ordinance.
“They couldn’t have done a better job than they did last night,” said Kornegay. “Armed with facts and a supportive audience, and from the youth who will be left behind to deal with our current mistakes.”
Slabodnik has made great leaps in progressing SWHS’ environmental awareness. She not only founded but is President of Eath Club, which is responsible for the composting project in the school’s cafeteria.
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily,” said Slabodnik as she ended her speech to the council.
As of now, no further action has been taken on the cities part to consider a re vote for the ordinance. Some members of the council, including Kornegay, continue to push.
“I talked to the mayor and we are both excited to bring this up again. It will probably look a lot like it did the last time. Which is bellingham’s ordinance which would exempt those using EBT and snap and WIC,” said Kornegay.