Abilene high student trying to find greener way for styrofoam trays at school

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ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) – Last year Abilene ISD used almost 3,000,000 styrofoam plates for meals. That is why one student is trying to find a greener way.

“I had always wanted to make a difference with the environment and so I decided that I needed to do it at school because that is where I went every day,” said Vicky Gao, going to be a Freshman at Abilene High.

She’s starting with cutting down the use of Styrofoam plates in Abilene ISD.

“When I first started it was a lot of work. I sent e-mails all over the school district and I did a lot of research,” said Gao.

One way she says to cut down is by promoting other options like biodegradable trays or paper plates.

“There are a lot of school districts in the US doing it like New York ISD, Dallas, and Flagler County schools which is in Florida,” said Gao.

Gao started a petition in November of 2018 to show how many people supported replacing the styrofoam trays. Less than a year later, it now has more than 2,000 signatures and she’s even presented her plan to the school board.

“It’s that one day a week to use a replacement instead, kind of like a trial method to see how it goes and that one day a week and we could add one day one per week of every new school year starting from there and so basically in five years we could be styrofoam free,” said Gao.

Abilene ISD will not be using different trays at the beginning of the school year, district officials say the option is not off the cafeteria table.

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