The Los Angeles Times recently reported that there has been a major shift in the way school lunches are being served in the district. The Los Angeles Unified School District has begun using recyclable and compostable paper cafeteria trays instead of the styrofoam lunch trays.
The paper reported that two years ago, students at Thomas Starr King Middle School in the Los Feliz area of LA started a campaign that led to last week’s move. The students were moved to activism after their 6th grade class studied the impacts of trash on the environment. They found out that lunch room trays were not being recycled and started bringing their own plastic trays that could be reused. In addition to this, groups of students stood guard by trash cans and reclaimed the trays before they could be trashed. Over a thousand trays that were saved and they were strung up on a tree which got everyone’s attention. Indeed, David Binkle, the district’s deputy food services director looked into the matter of bringing about a radical shift in the policy.
The district of LA uses about 40 million trays a year. The new paper tray is about 3 to 4 cents cheaper per unit and saves the district about $5 million to $6 million. Now all the schools use paper trays simply because a bunch of sixth graders found a reason to protest.
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Original article by Akhila Vijayaraghavan. Originally published by Triple Pundit, republished with kind permission.