4th grade students work to make change

WALLINGFORD, PA – A group of fourth grade students here recently showed that youngsters are capable of making a positive change for the environment after they sent essays to UNO CEO Jim Ilaria urging the restaurant chain to stop using plastic straws.

They pointed to the ways plastic straws thrown out in the ocean harm it and marine life. Impressed by their argument, he instituted the desired change with a new company policy – “by request only” – for the plastic straw option. He also organized a pizza party for the youngsters who contacted  him.

“I was impressed by the logic of their arguments and how they appealed to both my heart and my business mind,” Ilaria notes. “As an avid SCUBA diver who has seen the plastic debris in our ocean and as a former member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, I understand and appreciate the importance of source reduction, recycling and waste minimization. I am proud that I have the ability to make this change and I’m excited to recognize the significant actions of these young students.”

“My students have been energized to make a positive change in this world, especially after learning about the damage caused by single-use plastic straws,” notes the students’ teacher, Mrs. Knight. “It has been such a joy to teach this passionate group of fourth graders, and I am so very grateful to UNO and Mr. Ilaria for recognizing their efforts by changing to a “request only” straw policy AND by hosting a pizza party. It just doesn’t get better than that for a bunch of remarkable ten year olds!”


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