Rock Island youth starts movement that impacts the globe

“Saving Turtles, One Less Plastic Straw at a Time”
Nicolina's Turtle Co.
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 5:29 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) -11-year-old Nicolina Pappas started Nicolina’s Turtle Co. a few years ago after reading alarming facts about the harm plastics do to our environment.

The youngster decided to do something about it in the form of saving turtles by convincing people to skip the use of plastic straws. The mission’s motto is “Saving Turtles, One Less Plastic Straw at a Time”.

500,000 plastic straws are used daily in the U.S. and they can take up to 500 years to decompose. And since the straws often end up as garbage in our environment, they are eaten by sea creatures like turtles.

Earlier this month, Nicolina and a group of like-minded classmates and neighbors proposed two ordinances at the Rock Island City Council study session. One is to ban plastic straws and the other is a suggestion to put a 7-cent tax on all plastic bags at retail check out points.

The group demonstrated what a year of plastic bag use looks like. Council members asked a lot of questions and the proposals remain under consideration.

Nicolina invites viewers to join her conservation efforts at her website Nicolina’s Turtle Co. where she sells metal straws and storage pouches (for the straws to keep them clean) and donates all proceeds.

The straws and pouches are also available at Niabi Zoo, Nahant Marsh, and Quad City Botanical Center.

Nicolina has used the proceeds to adopt and care for turtles at Nahant Marsh and Niabi Zoo. She has branched out by supporting Living Lands and Waters to help remove trash, and started a camp scholarship fund at Niabi, among other ecological efforts.

There are multiple ways to support the mission and get more information (and informational flyers). Visit the website at Nicolina’s Turtle Co., call 734-730-5445, or email:

Copyright 2022 KWQC. All rights reserved.