HOUSTON - Two fourth-grade students are petitioning the mayor to ban plastic bags from the city.
Lila Mankad and Caoilin Krathaus, both students in Ms. Caraway’s class at Houston’s Travis Elementary School, live near White Oak Bayou. The two girls love to walk and play along the bayou, but they recently noticed a lot of the area surrounding it, including trees and brush, were covered in plastic bags. “We think Houston can do better,” Krathaus said.
The two girls created an online petition asking Mayor Sylvester Turner to create an ordinance that would either ban the use of plastic bags, or place a fee on them. It’s an ordinance some Texas cities like Austin already have in place. “We're going to try and win some City Council members on our side,” Mankad said. “We wanted to be the kind of people who change the world instead of complaining.”
The girls are concerned about the environmental impact the plastic bags have on animals and nature. “They go into the Gulf of Mexico and hurt the ecosystem,” Mankad said.
In just three days their petition has already received more than 800 signatures. The girls are spreading their message on social media. Eventually they plan to go to City Hall. “We want Houston to be a city that really believes it’s worth it and I mean why wait?” Mankad said.
The city sent out the following statement regarding the petition:
“This is the first time we have heard about this petition, but it’s great to see a young student taking a stand on environmental issues. We are open to hearing more about solutions, and in the meantime, we encourage residents to recycle and carry reusable bags when they shop.”