Doorae Shin fell in love with Hawai‘i as a freshman at the University of Hawaii’s Mānoa campus on O‘ahu. The state’s majestic mountains and breathtaking coasts captivated the East Coast native. But while walking through campus and around the island she noticed EPS foam (better known as Styrofoam) food packaging littering the streets and sidewalks. Shin soon learned about the devastating impact Styrofoam debris has on marine ecosystems. In the fall of 2012, with help from the Surfrider Foundation, Shin led a group of students on a petition drive calling for a ban on Styrofoam products on campus. The petition gathered 1,000 signatures and the university passed a resolution banning single-use foam packaging from all campus dining locations.
Following this victory, Shin spent two years campaigning to get the state to ban Styrofoam products. When the initiative failed, she joined an effort pushing a county bill to ban Styrofoam on O‘ahu, which is also home to the state capital. Shin will soon start working as the first student sustainability coordinator for the University of Hawai‘i system.