8-year-old Cape Coral girl inspires community to ditch plastic straws

If 8-year-old Charlie Anthony comes knocking at your door, she’s not selling something, she’s trying to spark change she believes will benefit Southwest Florida’s environment.

Anthony, a Pelican Elementary School student, started traveling around her Cape Coral neighborhood and asking people to join her cause by pledging to give up using plastic straws for one month. Because the young activist saw something she couldn’t stand to be a part of.

“I saw a video around Earth Day,” Anthony said, “They pulled a plastic straw out of a sea turtles nose, and that was very disgusting. And I just hated it.”

After perceiving plastics in her home as dangerous to the Florida sea life she loves, Anthony asked her family to switch to eco-friendly materials including straws made of plants or metal.

“It’s just better for the environment,” Anthony said. “We’re looking at straws that don’t hurt sea life.”

Then Anthony took her cause to the streets, collecting signatures from around her neighborhood and school as she asks people to pledge to give up using plastic straws for one month.

“It’s been really neat to see how supportive people have been,” said her mother, Lisa Anthony. “A lot of people send pictures of themselves using a metal straw or alternative. I think she definitely has a future in this.”

Charlie Anthony said she’ll keep collecting signatures and keep encouraging everyone to act in ways that helps the environment.

Reporter:Melinda Lee
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