"Straw-free" movement comes to Missoula - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

"Straw-free" movement comes to Missoula

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MISSOULA - A group of first graders is turning a classroom project into a citywide movement to end the use of polluting plastic straws.

Earlier this week, Mayor John Engen signed a proclamation designating May 4 at "Straw Free Day" in Missoula. It's all thanks to a first-grade class at Sussex School.

We talked to first graders to see what the project means to them.

"Yeah, straw free," says first grader Matilda Strivers. "No straws. Not even one."

Matilda and her classmates have been talking a lot about the impact that plastic straws have on the environment. The United States alone throws away 500 million single-use plastic straws every day.

"They're the top 10 things that show up on the beach, says student Asher Guerreri.

Teacher Kris Laroche hopes to make an impact with her students and teach them about being waste-free.

She showed her class a recent video of a massive sea turtle in Costa Rica with a plastic straw stuck up his nose - in the video, a rescuer needs to use pliers to extract the straw.

The first graders quickly started talking about alternatives to disposable plastic straws, like metal, bamboo and reusable plastic.

As an incentive for students, they get a reward if they don't bring any garbage with their lunch or eat all their food.

This project extends far beyond the classroom.

The students wrote a letter to Engen about their project and he responded with the proclamation in support of making May 4 a "straw-free" day in the Garden City.

You can also help support the students when they host a pop-up sale for zero-waste items at Sussex School on May 31.

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