At the beginning of June, I contacted the nutrition director of Newport Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD), Mrs. Dale Ellis, asking if it would be possible for the district to remove plastic straws from the cutlery packets that came with lunches in our school cafeterias. After a few emails, she replied last week with the great news that NMUSD has agreed to Skip the Plastic Straw for the entire school district! That means a total of 32 schools!
Starting the new school year, the NMUSD district will be implementing these changes in the nutrition services department, based on discussions we had:
Remove plastic straws from cutlery packages
Make paper straws available (separate from the cutlery packet)
Replace plastic coffee stirrers with wooden stirrers
They will also be looking into the possibility of making the entire cutlery packet (which includes a plastic spork) fully biodegradable in the future. See photo above for the old cutlery packet.
Here is a quote from Mrs. Dale Ellis:
“I love the passion that Chloe Mei has for this initiative. And am pleased that our district will be able to implement her suggestions this school year. It is truly rewarding to see our students make a positive difference in our world, and we are thrilled to be a part of the change with her.”
Thank you so much NMUSD for being a leader and making this change for our schools, students, environment, and oceans!
I have also shared this on my Instagram so be sure to go check it out!