Americans use 500 million plastic straws a day. Join these students in asking In-N-Out Burger to #SwitchTheStraw
Like people everywhere, 6th-grade students at Stevenson School, in Carmel, California, love In-N-Out Burger. But after learning about the harmful effects of plastic straws on wildlife and the environment, these young people wanted to make a difference. Together with The Last Plastic Straw (a project of Plastic Pollution Coalition) they launched a SpendRise campaign to ask In-N-Out Burger to #SwitchTheStraw.
“We use and discard over 500,000,000 plastic straws daily in the United States,” reads the letter to Lynsi Snyder, president and owner of In-N-Out Burger. “That’s enough straws to fill Yankee Stadium over 9 times a year. Straws are in the top 5 list of litter found on International Coastal Cleanup Day.”
The students got the idea for this campaign in March 2016, when Jackie Nuñez, founder of The Last Plastic Straw, spoke to their class about plastic straws. “During my presentation the students expressed to me their concern about a new In-N-Out Burger being built in close proximity to the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary,” she explains.
This year as 6th graders, and in collaboration with The Last Plastic Straw and Plastic Pollution Coalition, they chose to create this outreach project. Their hope is to raise awareness, create positive change, and work with In-N-Out Burger to switch from plastic to paper straws.
“We’re asking In-N-Out Burger to continue being a leader in social equity by applying best practices, but to also be good stewards of the earth by reducing the amount plastic in our waste stream and in our environment,” says Nuñez. “In addition to reducing the numbers of straws given out, In-N-Out Burger should switch from plastic to paper straws that are compostable and safe for the environment.”
When backers join the campaign they pledge to buy a gift card from In-N-Out Burger if the restaurant chain commits to switching from plastic to paper straws.
In-N-Out Burger operates more than 320 restaurants throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Oregon, and Utah. Known for its simple menu, the burger chain forgoes heat lamps, microwaves, and freezers and uses traditional methods to prepare food daily.
“We hope that you will embrace this opportunity to be a leader in creating healthy change in our community, your organization, and ultimately our global environment,” says Nuñez. “You can inspire others with your responsible leadership ensuring the health of our planet for generations to come.”
The Last Plastic Straw, a project of Plastic Pollution Coalition, is a movement to eliminate single-use plastic at the source. The project seeks to activate citizens through a grassroots campaign to encourage individuals to push for change in restaurant protocol and practices in their local communities around the world.
See also: The Problem of Plastic Straws (And How Each of Us Can Make a Difference)