Girl Scout Convinces Airline To Replace Plastic Straws With Sustainable Material

This Girl Scout convinced an airline to ditch plastic straws.

Shelby O’Neil reached out to Alaska Airlines, who used 22 million plastic straws and citrus picks in a year, and urged them to eliminate single-use plastic straws. The airline ended up listening, and, starting summer 2018, they will be replacing non-recyclable plastic with sustainable marine-friendly alternatives on all flights and in lounges across the country.

17-year-old Shelby created Jr Ocean Guardians for her Girl Scout USA Gold Award project. The nonprofit hosts beach clean-ups at schools and raises awareness of alternatives to single-use plastics, which pollute oceans and can harm marine life.

She also launched #NoStrawNovember in 2017, to empower kids to make one small change by refusing single-use plastic straws. She received more than 9,000 pledges and recorded more than 20,000 straws refused. Her movement inspired the California Legislative Assembly to approve a Straws Upon Request bill.

Shelby is now challenging people to refuse plastic straws on 2018 as well. She hopes to help save marine life, especially sea turtles, and encourages other girls to get involved to help save the oceans and planet.

“I think girls have as much right to speak up for Mother Nature as guys do,” she stated to NowThis. “We all live on this planet we should all get a say. Mother Nature has provided so much for us, it’s silly not to respect her. She has always inspired me.”