These 9- and 10-year-olds are turning their English lessons into a campaign for adults to ban plastic straws
"The most shocking thing about plastic pollution is that it is a problem, created by adults, that will affect our children so much more than it affects us."
Every piece of plastic ever produced still exists in some form. Single-use items that are functional for minutes are made from a material that lasts for lifetime upon lifetime without biodegrading. The things we discard without thought can go on polluting the planet for thousands of years.
One of the most disturbing and unfair things about today's ubiquitous plastic pollution is the burden it leaves to the next generation. Says Dominic Traynor, CEO of A Tale Unfolds, “The most shocking thing about plastic pollution is that it is a problem, created by adults, that will affect our children so much more than it affects us.” Plastic straws, the useless single-use plastic pipes that show up in your drinks, are a particularly frustrating example of a large source of marine waste which could be easily avoided, provided you stop and think about them.
After learning about the issue, a class of 9- to 10-year-old students from Oxley Park Academy in the UK decided to take action. They turned a lesson in persuasive writing and digital storytelling into a campaign to tackle plastic straws, writing to and conducting interviews with local pub owners to raise awareness and call for more solutions. The young activists have already convinced at least one establishment (a local brewery) to join their cause.
Spurred by this success, the students are now channeling their momentum into a petition at Change.org, asking the UK Government for a ban on plastic straws using the hashtag #strawssuck.
“The petition is currently about to pass 6,000 signatures but this group of young change makers is focused on getting the petition debated in Parliament,” says Traynor. For this, we need 100,000 signatures and so we are asking for your help to sign and share their petition.”
The petition will be handed to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in June 2018.
Kids rule. Support this group here:
Sign the petition on Change.org