Ocean Heroes Spotlight

Chloe Mei teaches California to Skip the Plastic Straw

September 21, 2019
Chloe Mei smiling, straws collected from beach in hand

Chloe Mei’s passion for scuba diving among tropical reefs inspired her work to protect the oceans by reducing plastic straw pollution.

In April 2018, the then 11-year-old researched and created her own website, Skip the Plastic Straw as part of a 6th grade project to educate people about the harmful effects of single-use plastic straws.

On her website, she created a Skip the Plastic Straw pledge counter for people to commit to not using single-use plastic straws. To date, more than 1,300 people have signed the pledge!

After attending the 2018 Ocean Heroes Bootcamp, Chloe Mei convinced the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, and Capistrano Unified School District for a total of 128 schools to stop using plastic straws and offer only biodegradable alternatives! The Capistrano District has also stopped the use of plastic water bottles and moved toward more compostable packaging in the future. She has also convinced the Pali Institute Outdoor Camp to stop the use of wooden straw stirrers in place of plastic stirrers in their cafeteria and lounges.

Chloe Mei has also started a lecture series where she presents to children attending camps at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) in Laguna Beach, Newport Sea Base and Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach. To date, she has spoken to more than 1000 kids about the harmful effects of single-use plastics. In addition to these presentations, she has also presented to the Hoag Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, petitioning them to limit or stop using single-use plastic straws in all of their hospitals and centers in Southern California. As of July 2019, Hoag has removed all plastic straws from their cafeterias in all of their hospitals in Orange County. Chloe Mei has also received the Ocean Hero Award from OCEANA and the Junior Philanthropist Award from PMMC.

Recently, Chloe Mei was featured on the Kelly Clarkson Show with fellow Ocean Hero Cash. Watch their interview below: