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Ella Elkins

2024 TEEA Winner - Youth

Ella's recycling event was inspired by a second-grade school Texas Research Institute for Young Scholars (TRIYS) project where she documented the life cycle of a plastic bag. In third grade, she decided to collect and recycle plastic grocery bags, which turned into an annual collection event. Since then, Ella's recycling project has become an annual affair where she has collected approximately 32,826 plastic bags.

These bags have been either recycled or made into sleeping mats/blankets for the homeless by ESOP partner The Prayer Shawl Group out of Mertzon, TX. Ella measures the success of the event by seeing the number of bags brought to be recycled decrease over the years, and the goal of the project is to cease holding the event at all in the future.