The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday March 25th

Zero-waste event walks the walk at screening of "A Plastic Ocean"

The North Carolina Botanical Garden will host an outdoor film screening of “A Plastic Ocean” Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Forest Theatre.

The film is an adventure documentary that sheds light on the consequences of humankind’s wasteful lifestyle. “A Plastic Ocean” focuses on the danger of single-use plastics and their harmful impact on plant and animal life in oceans.

“Part of our mission is to advance a sustainable relationship between people and nature,” said Jennifer Peterson, communications manager for the N.C. Botanical Garden. “We want to make sure that people are kind to the Earth in more ways than just plants.”

Set in the Forest Theatre, the outdoor screening is intended to fuel conversation on sustainability and inspire change on both individual and institutional levels. The N.C. Botanical Garden hopes to educate community members on what they can do in their everyday lives to make a difference.

“The film talks a lot about reducing the use of single-use plastics because a lot of them do end up in our waterways and they do end up in our oceans,” said Janna Starr, facilities and events manager at the N.C. Botanical Gardens. “It’s a really hot topic and something we’re really excited to be involved in.”

Recently, plastic straws have come to the forefront of conversation about harmful disposable plastics. Peterson said while movements to limit and even ban the consumption of plastic straws is helpful in sustainability efforts, they only scratch the surface of all the single-use plastics people dispose of daily.

“Plastic pollution goes so much further than straws,” Peterson said. “This film offers a way to see what problems plastics cause to the Earth and ways that the average person could make a difference.”

This cause and effect relationship is exactly what the film aims to portray. “A Plastic Ocean” provides visual context to reveal the truth about seemingly pure waters.

“I think it’s great that we’ll be getting a visual perspective on this issue,” said junior computer science major Ian Edwards. “People know that their use of plastic is wasteful but a lot of the time might not actually be able to visualize the problems it’s causing.”

The outdoor screening pledges to be a “zero-waste event” and will offer refreshments, raffle tickets and prizes. Tickets are $5 per person through the N.C. Botanical Garden.

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