Orange County has declared March 2019 as “Skip the Straw” month, which is part of a larger campaign to reduce single-use plastics of all kinds.
Orange County Commissioner Penny Rich said the purpose of this campaign is to educate people on why they should not use plastic straws, and it involves efforts like getting the service industry to participate.
“That's the only way to make people recognize they’re using single-use plastics for a matter of minutes, and it won’t go away for 50 years,” she said. “It’s one of those realities.”
To promote the campaign, free screenings of the film “Straws” will be held in Varsity Theatre on March 25 and Orange County Public Library on March 26.
“Straws” is a 30-minute documentary that examines the impact of plastic pollution and aims to empower individuals to be part of the solution.
Linda Booker, the movie's director, said her motivation to make this film came from the huge increase in plastic litter in places she had visited, especially her hometown in Chatham County.
“‘Straws’ came to me in 2016, as an idea of focusing on one object that can be sort of a starting talking point for the much larger problem of pollution globally,” she said. “So I hope the audience’s takeaway is that they are not overwhelmed by what is now, what we consider now, a crisis.”
Booker said she has seen an increase in awareness of plastic pollution since she started research for her film.
“We’re now seeing this enormous swell of awareness and policy change, and campaigns like the one that Orange County is doing, I’m just really thrilled to see it happen in the area that is home for me," she said.