Truckee students leading local movement to ban plastic straws | SierraSun.com

Truckee students leading local movement to ban plastic straws

Hannah Jones
hjones@sierrasun.com

The growing movement to ban the use of disposable plastic straws has reached Truckee with students from Sierra Expeditionary Learning School launching a local effort.

Students from grades four to six lined the front rows of Town Hall at Tuesday's City Council meeting, asking the town begin exploring options for a ban against disposable single-use plastic straws in Truckee.

"When we started our campaign we were involved in an expedition that examines how water shapes our earth with a final emphasis and focus on human impact and conservation," student Faith Long said in a presentation. "We learned about water at a molecular level — how water shows up and behaves on earth and water's effect on the human experience."

"Once we began our research on this topic we were blown away by the stats we encountered," said student Vincent Long, who noted the United States throws away around 500 million single-use straws in a single day.

“Once we began our research on this topic we were blown away by the stats we encountered.”

— student Vincent Long, noting the U.S. throws away 500 million single-use straws in a single day

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Long said the group of students researched the volumes of plastics that are dumped into the oceans, as well as the number of restaurants in California now limiting straws to customers.

"We got very inspired," he said. "We knew we had to act locally to help globally combat this issue."

The students then began reaching out to local businesses and organizations asking them to ban single use straws. The students said businesses including Glenshire Pizza, Smokey's Kitchen, Red Truck as well as the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association immediately agreed.

ECO-CONSCIOUS TOWN?

Anderson said they are also asking community members to use bamboo, metal, paper, or glass straws instead of plastic ones as well as request no straws at restaurants.

"We believe the impact of banning the use of disposable straws will not only improve our local aquatic and biotic ecosystems but will also include Truckee in the growing movement around the country to better protect our environment," said Long.

"We were, and still are, determined to see our campaign grow into a movement," said Anderson.

"We believe this is the next step for our eco-conscious town."

Some council members said it's an issue they'd like to tackle this year.

"There's an exciting conversation we can have around single-use items, in general," said Council member Morgan Goodwin, suggesting the town look into the use of disposable utensils and styrofoam as well. He commended the students for already reaching out to local business.

"That's a critical way that we want to make decisions in Truckee is having that conversation," he said.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or hjones@sierrasun.com.