By Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Plastic pollution is one of the most important environmental problems that we face today. It impacts the environment and our health and wellbeing, from poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones.
12-year-old Chloe Mei Espinosa persuaded more than 62 schools to remove plastics from campus.
Currently a 7th-grade student at Corona Del Mar Middle School in Newport Beach, California, Chloe started her campaign from a passion project for her class. Her original goal was to get 500 people to take a pledge to stop using single-use plastic straws. She has now collected almost 900 signatures and has started taking on other projects to help reduce single-use plastics throughout her community.
Recently, Chloe worked with the Capistrano Unified School District, one of the largest school districts in Orange County, to remove plastic straws and plastic water bottles from all 62 schools, starting in the 2019-2020 school year. With the addition of these schools, Chloe has encouraged more than 120 schools in California to participate in skip-the-straw campaign.
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I created this poster – now up in all 32 schools in my school district! – to raise awareness and hopefully inspire kids, teachers and staff to skip the plastic straw even outside of school! Thank you Newport-Mesa Unified school district again for being a leader in making this change, and thanks to my sister Ella Lin (also pictured in the next photo) who helps to spread Skip the Plastic Straw word to her friends at her elementary school. 👍🏼👍🏼 Check out the blog on my website for more details!
“Why use the plastic drinking straw when you can save the ocean environment?” said Chloe.
Chloe’s innovative approach and dedication show the immense impact individuals of all ages can have on their communities. She is an inspiration to others looking to take action and we are especially thankful for all she has done to bring awareness to the issue of plastic pollution.