7-Eleven Chairman steps up to an 11-year-old's call to action

12 September 2019

When 11-year-old Georgia Holt wrote to our Chairman, Michael Smith earlier this year, her impassioned letter called for 7-Eleven to take action on sustainability and plastic pollution. Georgia didn’t just get action, she got a visit from Michael.

Georgia lives in the south-east suburb of Wattle Grove in Perth. Close to her house is a creek, which experiences a significant amount of litter and rubbish.

Taking matters into her own hands, Georgia regularly cleans up the creek – removing any rubbish and litter she finds to encourage local wildlife to return to the area. Unfortunately, a lot of the rubbish she has found are 7-Eleven branded items such as Slurpee cups, straws and lids.

In her letter, Georgia asked 7-Eleven to consider our use of single use plastics and look at ways we can even better improve our cup recycling program. Her letter, and the many others we receive from school children around the country, are a powerful example of the growing concern from future generations about sustainability and sustainable practices.

We responded to Georgia to let her know of our exciting plans to cut down our waste, specifically single use plastics like straws and Slurpee cups. We also coordinated for her local 7-Eleven store in Wattle Grove to have a cup recycling point installed, to encourage local coffee and Slurpee drinkers to recycle their cups, lids and straws.

Michael decided, however, that our response to Georgia simply wasn’t enough. He went out of his way to find out more about the situation in Wattle Grove for himself, visiting the creek near Georgia’s house, the local 7-Eleven, and finally met with Georgia and her family.

Michael says he had a terrific chat with Georgia and her family.

“They are great people. They were seemingly very surprised that the Chair was taking a personal interest. I said, ‘Not me, but us. We value our communities and our place in them.’”

Georgia’s dad, Patrick Holt, thanked Michael for taking the time to visit Georgia personally.

“It meant the world to her…your support for her efforts is priceless and appreciated.”

Initiatives like our partnership with Simply Cups and our #cuprescue program, free coffee with a reusable cup campaign, as well as reusable products such as Slurpee drink bottles and rCups are just some of the ways we are beginning to make changes to be a better corporate and global citizen.