Group of elementary school students on a mission to rid the world of plastic straws
REDMOND, Wash. (KOMO) - A group of local elementary school kids are poised to change the law.
They’re only 8 and 9 years old, but they have the attention of Governor Jay Inslee and city leaders.
They girls want everyone in the state to stop using single-use plastic straws.
The ‘Straw Girls’, just 3rd and 4th graders are on a mission to eventually rid the world of plastic straws.
They're starting with Redmond and Kirkland, where they’ve addressed City Council members.
“We all want to help the earth, I feel everybody and every creature should be happy,” said 9-year-old Becky.
Advocates say plastic straws pose a danger to animals like sea turtles, albatross and fish who can eat them.
“We are mostly worried about the sea creatures, plastic dropped in sewer drains which gets out in the ocean, so the plastic never fully biodegrades, so the plastic gets into everything,” said Megan, a 3rd grader.
Megan started their campaign after reading about Seattle’s ban on plastic straws set to take effect in July and got five other friends, four in Kirkland and one in Shoreline, who believe it’s the last straw for plastic straws.
According to Ocean Conservancy, the average person uses 1.6 straws per day. The girls worry about how many end up as marine pollution.
“It’s the food chain, because like salmon dies from plastic and something eats that, and it dies and something eats that and it dies.” said 9-yea- old Becky.
The girls turned environmentalists say a grave prediction got their attention: scientist estimate there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.
“There was a turtle that had a straw up his nose stuck,” added Becky, referring to a video that went viral online in 2015.
“I really want to help a lot of different kinds of animals the reason for that is I have 21 pets,” said animal lover Kaileigh.
She said her mom is helping them build a website, so they can expand their reach and recruit others to take up the case in their respective cities in and out of Washington state.
“Personally I think reusable straws are the best choice, choice if you have to use plastic straws, or any type cause you can wash them multiple times, you don't have to throw them away every single time,” said Megan.
While they've been educating others, the girls agreed they learned something about themselves too. They know they can make a difference and it may take more than one try.
“I learned younger girls can do more than people think,” said Cora, a third grader.
And that's got them thinking beyond Washington.
“I want to do this until it happens worldwide, said 10-year-old Nora, the oldest of the bunch.
The Straw Girls are feeling confident, while none of the city council members have said yes to their ban proposals, so far, none has said no.