Strathcona students lobby to ban plastic straws

A Year 2 student from Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School in Melbourne, together with the support of Year 6 Green Team leaders, has made a stand for the environment, penning a letter to the school’s Principal, Marise McConaghy, asking for plastic straws to be removed from the school canteen.

“We are Year 6 students from the Green team. A Year 2 student named Zoë has noticed that plastic straws have been damaging our ocean. And Zoë has also noticed that plastic straws are in our canteen. We were wondering if we could possibly get rid of them. We hope you understand our concern for the environment,” wrote Green Team students Sienna, Mia, Rajaani and Charlotte.

In her response to the letter, Principal Marise McConaghy said, “I am so pleased that you have identified this problem as I have been meaning to address it for some time; what great leaders you are! I too am very concerned about managing the issue of plastic in the school and I am pleased to start by banning plastic straws.”

After a collaborative meeting the unanimous decision was made to ban plastic straws at Strathcona’s canteen in an effort to introduce more environmentally friendly practices at the school.

It was a​ War on Waste​ ​documentary and learning about the​ Straw No More project, in which single use plastic straws are being banned from school canteens across the US, that inspired seven-year-old Zoë to speak to her teachers to make a difference. Straw No More was founded by 11-year-old Molly after she watched a documentary which featured the damaging impacts that straws have on our environment.

Strathcona is a school that encourages girls and young women to be unstoppable and stand up for what they believe in. Teachers at Strathcona were excited to see their students taking action, along with demonstrating determination and initiative.

​“I am so pleased that our students had the courage to voice their ideas and concerns. We admire witnessing them advocating for topics they are passionate about, and their leadership around banning plastic straws from our canteen is an example that will inspire other students to speak up for what they believe in too,” said Ms McConaghy.


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