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Montauk Fourth Grade Students Working To Reduce The Community’s Use Of Plastic

Sydney A. Braat

Montauk residents Jennifer Meadows and Greg Donahue supported the students and helped spearhead a cooperative movement called "The Last Straw." (Courtesy Photo)

Montauk School fourth graders decided they were tired of the amount of plastic pollution, which prompted the idea to eliminate plastic drinking straws in favor of paper in Montauk food establishments.

To amplify their "green" movement, the students sought support from the Montauk Chamber. "Such a simple environmental idea but so impactful for our community waterways and marine life made sense to us, so the Chamber helped the students email an announcement letter asking our business members to support their plan," explained Laraine Creegan, the Chamber's Executive Director.  

Montauk residents Jennifer Meadows and Greg Donahue also backed the students and have helped spearhead a cooperative movement called "The Last Straw." The effort seeks to make paper straws available to all interested Montauk businesses at an affordable price.

"This can start slowly with just straws but we can see it growing very quickly to include the elimination of all types of plastic - cups, to go containers, flatware, and more," noted Creegan. "Let's all work together to make Montauk plastic free and even more environmentally conscious, starting with our Chamber members."

Montauk businesses who commit to purchasing paper straws can get a case price and place an order by providing their business name, a contact phone number, and total case amount to thelaststrawmtk@gmail.com. An increase in demand has even resulted in a drop in price by Aardvark Paper company. Instead of $77.12 per case they are now offering the community the straws at $71.94 per case, and "The Last Straw" campaign has received over 80 case orders.

"With everything we bring into our shop, I always compare a few vendors to each other before making our final decision," said a local Montauk shop owner. "We compared Aardvark to a handful of other paper straw companies and the quality was far superior to any of them. Made in the USA and biodegradable, they are not thin paper straws, but sturdy, won't break down in your drink straws. Most other paper straw companies are made in China with unsafe dyes and harmful materials, least of all they break down in your drink pretty quickly."

If you're interested in placing an order for the sustainable, biodegradable, individually wrapped 7.75 inch paper straws, the deadline is Thursday, June 1 to participate.

For more information, call 631-668-2428 or visit www.montaukchamber.com.

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