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As part of the #skipthestraw initiative, Northport High School’s Environment Team has been working with Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) and the American Marin Conservation Society (AMCS) in an effort to educate their peers on how harmful single use plastics are for the environment.

Earth Week took place right before spring recess, so the E-Team set up a booth in the high school commons to reach out to their peers. Members encouraged their classmates to pledge to give up unnecessary disposable plastic usage to help preserve the environment. Every student who signed a pledge received reusable wooden utensils, a stainless-steel straw, and a reusable shopping bag. Members also encouraged their classmates to carry these materials with them on a regular basis to form habits in using them.

Last year, the E-Team worked in collaboration with the CCE to push the Suffolk County Bag Bill into place and this year they’re working on discouraging use of harmful materials like disposable plastics and Styrofoam. It has been reported that approximately 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States, and last year over 11,000 of those straws were collected on New York’s shorelines.

“We’re extremely passionate about changing the way people think about and use plastics,” said AJ, a senior E-Team member. “People always say ‘Well, how much can one person really do?’ but that’s the thing — if we can encourage one person, and then another person, and then those people encourage others, it’s a chain reaction. Boom, we’re changing the world.”

By the end of the week, over 620 pledges were made at Northport High School thanks to the E-Team’s efforts. Way to make a difference, students!