A Los Angeles Middle School Gets Styrofoam Lunch Trays Banned from the District

Target: Students and Administrators at Thomas Starr King Middle School

Goal: Applaud the effort in getting Styrofoam lunch trays banned from L.A. Unified School District campuses.

The Los Angeles Unified School District wants everyone to know just how committed it is to protecting the environment and promoting environmental awareness on its campuses. Just weeks after making a switch towards healthier school lunches, LAUSD will now ban the further use of Styrofoam lunch trays. District officials have confirmed, after an announcement made last week, that schools will now be switching over to compostable boxes.

And students at Thomas Starr King Middle School in Los Feliz are largely to thank for this. In April of 2011, students at this middle school erected an art installation made from Styrofoam lunch trays in the center of their campus. For almost two years, the trays remained dangling from the branches of an acacia tree in the school’s garden to serve as a daily reminder about the Styrofoam trash left to collect in state landfills. The message was read loud and clear.

“With 65 municipalities throughout California banning Styrofoam, it’s time for a sensible statewide solution to the environmental harm caused by polystyrene products,” declared Paul Koretz, a Los Angeles City Councilmember. “Our legislators can take inspiration from the wonderful students and parents of Thomas Starr King Middle School, who successfully called for LAUSD to change its policies and practices regarding polystyrene food trays, making LAUSD even more of an environmental leader among educational institutions.”

Through their devotion and hard work, students at Thomas Starr King Middle School proved (not only to themselves) but to their peers that some things are worth the effort. At a critical age, these children now know that their opinions matter: and that is a lesson best taught through experience.


Dear Students and Administrators at Thomas Starr King Middle School,

Recently, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced that it will no longer be providing school lunches on Styrofoam lunch trays. This decision is not only important to the protection of the environment but to the education of children in the district’s many schools. And this could not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the students and faculty members at Thomas Starr King Middle School.

So often, news has focused on the trouble taking place in elementary, middle, and high schools all around the country. Your school has proven that positive change can emerge from the youngest of voices. This school has set an example to the rest of the country, and to children especially, that commitment to a cause can breed outstanding positive change. Thank you.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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