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District to launch Green Tray Initiative to reduce impact of foam

April 20, 2018

Moreau students who campaigned against foam lunch trays.Inspired by students, the South Glens Falls Central School District will be launching a “Green Tray Initiative” in celebration of Earth Day. The initiative will begin on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Continuing on Tuesdays until at least the end of the 2017-18 school year, new compostable trays made of sugarcane and bamboo will be used to serve breakfast and lunch to students. Approximately 1,600 students purchase meals through the district’s food service department each day, typically on polystyrene foam trays. The environmentally-friendly trays are made with “rapidly renewable resources” and are 100 percent compostable in about 12 weeks.

“If we can make a small change with minimal impact on the district, and help our planet at the same time, it seems like a win-win situation,” said Interim Superintendent of Schools Jon Hunter, Ed.D., who was approached by two Moreau Elementary School students with the idea earlier this winter. “This is an innovative solution to a problem and we are looking forward to seeing how it works in the district.”

The students, fourth-grade students Courtney Bush and Emerson Murphy, continued work that fourth grader Carson Ogden had started the year before.

“The way we treat the planet is all going to come back to us someday,” Bush said, explaining that her and Emerson just wanted to help make a difference.

“I just started crying when I found out they were actually going to do it!” Emerson said. “We’re fourth graders and we accomplished it!”

Although the Green Tray Initiative will cost the district slightly more to implement than the typical polystyrene foam trays, the food service department is hoping to see increased participation on Tuesdays to offset the cost of the trays, says School Lunch Manager Robert DeFrancisco.

“We are excited to bring a green initiative to students,” DeFrancisco said. “It’s exciting that South Glens Falls can do its part to eliminate plastic waste products from the environment.”

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