WAVERLY – The name of their project is “Let’s Make This The Last Straw” and their purpose is a simple one: cut down on the use of plastic straws.
Waverly High School FCCLA members Liz and Lynnzy Larsen have taken on the project of informing people that plastic straws used by Americans creates enough waste to wrap around the earth 2.5 times. And that’s each day.
“That waste is mostly found on beaches and it’s been determined that 70 percent of seabirds and 30 percent of marine turtles have traces of micro plastic in them,” said Liz, a senior.
“And imagine what that is doing to fish,” sophomore Lynnzy added. “For small fish, that micro plastic is deadly.”
The two sisters are looking for ways to get the work in encouraging people not to take a plastic straw.
Speaking at a recent Waverly Chamber of Commerce meeting, they provided each member with a glass straw.
“They are so many different straws people can use off of Amazon, including a straw that folds up, fits into a small container that you can carry on your keyring,” Lynnzy said.
But right now their goal is to get restaurants from automatically handing out a plastic straw eventually changing to paper straws.
“We have table cards to put on tables in restaurants standing some of the facts,” Liz said.
Posters will also be going up in the local eating establishments.
Liz said that several familiar name restaurants and coffee shops have already jumped aboard in ditching plastic straws.
“Starbacks is one. They are not using the plastic stoppers anymore,” she said.
Of course, they both admitted they were aware that the change in a person’s habit would be a challenge.
“And it really starts with our peers,” Lynnzy said. “They have to stop from picking a plastic straw, especially if they don’t use it.”
But Lynnzy thinks people can change their habit easy.
Liz said that the more they read on how plastic was harming the country, the more determined they were to get the word out.
“It has turned into a passion for us, just to get people to understand what harm that something as simple as a plastic straw can do.”
The two will continue to work on getting the word out and will present their project at FCCLA’s state convention in February. They hope that they will receive high enough marks they will be invited to talk about it at national convention next summer.
“There is just so much we can do getting the word out, and we hope that people will start thinking when they go for that straw,” Liz said.
What the two girls have discovered is that enjoy talking to the public.
“This was a tailored make project for us, one that we fully believed in,” Liz said. “We both hope that what we say will stick with people and they will never use a plastic straw again.”