The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

News Briefs 2/19

GVL+Briefs
GVL Briefs

Rise in plastic pollution following Mardi Gras

Environmentalists and antipollution advocates are expressing concerns regarding the amount of discarded plastic post-Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans.

Leftover Mardi Gras beaded necklaces and other plastic items are being washed into storm drains, dangled from tree branches and trampled on by pedestrians, despite the cleanup efforts by the city of New Orleans. According to WoodTV, tons of plastic beads have been pulled from drainage systems over recent years, causing several complications for the city’s storm drainage and flood navigation system. Many environmentalists are expressing specific concerns about the leftover beads that flush into the Gulf of Mexico inlet and the threat they pose to wildlife.

Several solutions have been proposed to the organizers of Mardi Gras events, such as reusing old sets of plastic beads rather than buying and producing new ones each year. Other solutions suggested included having more frequent collection bins for party-goers to drop the things they’ve gathered at parades or celebrations, rather than leaving them on the ground or throwing them in the trash. Suggestions have been made for headbands, T-shirts or food items to be given at Mardi Gras celebrations rather than plastic beads.

New Orleans native, Brett Davis, leads a nonprofit to reduce plastics waste following the carnival events in the city.

“The waste is becoming a defining characteristic of this event,” Davis told to WoodTV.

Michigan pulls anti-union, Right-to-Work law

Michigan removed the Right-to-Work law preventing workers from organizing new union locals and collectively bargaining. Last week, the legislation was officially eliminated from state law when it was struck from the books Tuesday, after it was repealed in 2023.

This has restored prevailing-wage protections for construction workers, expanded public school employees’ bargaining rights, among other things according to The Nation.

The Right-to-Work law amended the Labor Mediation Act (LMA) and the Public Employment Relations Act (PERA), essentially prohibiting union security agreements which enforced members of unions regularly paying service fees or dues for their membership.

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About the Contributor
Emma Armijo, News Editor
Emma Armijo is the Lanthorn's News editor for the 2023-24 year. She previously worked with the Lanthorn for a year and a half as a news staff writer before joining the editorial team as the Arts and Entertainment editor in the winter of 2023. Emma enjoys all things creative like dance, music and drawing. Her aspirations after college include working as a professional in the dance industry and writing for a major print news organization, The New York Times. Graduating Winter 2025 Majors: Multimedia Journalism, Dance