Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Marine Affairs

First Advisor

Amelia Moore


The objective of this work was to conduct a qualitative pilot study investigating the change in youth perceptions of single-use plastic straws before and after an educational intervention. To achieve this goal six female students, ranging from 12 to 14 years old, were interviewed on their knowledge about single-use plastic straws, their frequency of use, and their general understanding of current environmental issues. They were then shown two educational videos pertaining to the history of single-use plastic straws and their current usage status. After one week students were interviewed again and asked questions to reflect on the information shown to them and how it related to their own lives. The two interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and thematically coded. From the differences in themes found in the data, it was determined there was a general shift in how the students perceived their own straw use as well as an increase in awareness of straws in their daily lives. Although this study had many limitations, overall, there was a general increase in student awareness of single-use plastic straws. This pilot study methodology can serve as a baseline for future work involving youth perceptions on specific environmental concerns.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.