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UNG students win national "Pledge Against Plastic Straws"

2018-06-04-Glass-Straws-1
University of North Georgia's Dahlonega Campus placed first in the "Pledge Against Plastic Straws" national competition, conducted by Simply Straws. For its victory, UNG received glass straws as its prize. Students Matthew Terrell and Madison Conner are part of the team making glass straw use a viable choice at UNG.

University of North Georgia's (UNG) Dahlonega Campus placed first in the "Pledge Against Plastic Straws" national competition, conducted by Simply Straws.

About 550 UNG students agreed to not use one-time-use plastic straws in April.

Dr. Jessica "Jess" Hartel, a lecturer of biology at UNG, identified this action as a way for students to make a small, daily step to impact the world's environment.

"It was a way for students to get involved and active," she said. "And we competed with schools like UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles)."

Students who pledged received an $8 coupon off a reusable glass straw from Simply Straws. One such student was Emily Bottoms, a freshman majoring in criminal justice from Dawsonville, Georgia. She said she watched a video about a sea turtle injured by a plastic straw that made her rethink her usage.

"I've always grown up using plastic straws and didn't know how big an impact they had on the environment," she said. "They can really hurt animals."

Bottoms signed the Pledge Against Plastic Straws and enlisted others to do the same. The Sustainability Club and Scuba Club also made significant strides on campus to help UNG win the competition, said Dr. Justin Ellis, director of the Environmental Leadership Center.

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