For the environmentally conscious kids at Sandgate State School, the amount of plastic going into the ocean is the last straw – literally! Now, thanks to two Year 3 students, the school’s tuckshop has cut out plastic straws altogether.
Zara Kolishkin and Ruby Grendon, both aged 8, said they were motivated to act after talking about the environment in class.
“Our teacher showed us a video about plastic and about another girl who was trying to ban straws and we thought, maybe we should do that too,” Ruby said.
“We were thinking about what we could do to make a difference, to help our marine life,” Zara added.
“It’s important to help them because they’re endangered and once they’re gone, that’s it – you can’t buy another one from the shop.”
The school’s tuckshop convenor, Catherine Commons, said she thought the girls were “very brave” to come and speak with her about the issue.
“We never gave out straws with drinks like milk, it was only juice poppers, and now we have officially sold out of poppers, so we no longer have any straws in the tuckshop,” she said.
Mrs Commons added there had been some work involved in finding a replacement for the poppas.
“Trying to find products that were at a good price point, had no straws and also – thinking of the junior school – that didn’t have things like silver seals on them,” she said.
“You don’t want the teachers having to spend their lunchtime opening drinks.
“So, it had to be a product that fit with our staff, our kids, our parents and the environment.
“We needed something that was 99.9 per cent juice, to fit in with our Smart Choices policy, and we went with Orchy products.”
The girls, who spoke at the school assembly about their bid to remove straws from the tuckshop, were delighted the project came to fruition.
“We were a bit nervous before our speech, but now that there’s no more straws in the tuckshop we feel better,” Ruby said.
“We feel like we have done something to help,” Zara said.
Mrs Commons added: “You know, one of the great things about this school is that we have such a nice community and this project had a lot of support from the school and from the P&C.’’