Preucil preschoolers encourage Iowa City to go strawless

Published: Jul. 17, 2018 at 9:53 PM CDT
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Preschool students are taking steps to reduce plastic straw waste in Iowa City.

Mayor Jim Throgmorton named Tuesday, July 17 Iowa City Strawless Initiative Day after Preucil preschoolers started encouraging people to skip the straw, after learning about the dangers it could have to animals.

"I think because they eat it and it hurts their tummies," said Preucil preschooler Bridget Greenwood.

"What spontaneously happened in our class is they started drawing pictures of straws with Xs through it so when I saw that happening on it's own I knew that this was something that was on their minds," said Preucil Preschool Director Tricia Windschitl.

The idea is to encourage restaurants to offer straws only by request.

Something Big Grove in Solon says it's was already doing, so when the kids approached the brewery restaurant about its Iowa City location, it was a no-brainer.

"It took our usage down from a case a week to almost a carton a week. Now all we use in the Big Grove in Solon is a compostable straw," said Big Grove co-founder Doug Goettsch.

It's now being done in places all over town.

"It was a natural progression to roll it into Pullman, St. Burch and Big Grove here in Iowa City," said Goettsch.

Now at Pullman, you can find steel straws, instead. But the school says the initiative is to help people, so they do want restaurants to have them in case people have to use them, like those with disabilities.

"The kids are really aware from day one that there are those who need plastic straws and I think kids can really relate to that because they have a lot of needs in their lives so they can understand there are people who need certain things," said Windschitl.

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