Straws

Thanks to everyone that came along to the film screening of Straws last Sunday at 4 Pines Truck Bar in Brookvale. If you couldn’t make it on the night here is a little recap and some actions that you can do to keep our sea plastic straw free!

THE MOVIE

Straws is a wonderful documentary that covers all you need to know about the history of straws, the impact of plastic straws in the oceans, the cost of plastic straws in the hospitality waste-stream and the benefits of going plastic-free. There were some wonderful interviews, including The Last Plastic Straw founder, Jackie Nunez and the turtle researchers that pulled a straw out of a turtle’s nostril, Nathan Robinson and Christine Figgener. But the highlight for me was the inspiration school student Max Muchum who started the #nostrawchallenge (#sinpajillaporfavor) in Costa Rica. His call to action was just so simple- he can’t do this alone. In the movie, as he is making bamboo straws for local restaurants, he realizes that he can’t possibly talk to every venue in Costa Rica. Just like I can’t reach every restaurant, bar and café on the Northern Beaches. That’s where we need your help!

THE PANEL

We were inspired by Kiera Murphy, the sustainability lover at 4 Pines Brewery. She leads the way in using business as a force for good and shared the story of straws at 4 Pines. Although they are well known for their beers, they do have cocktails and sodas and these are all straw-free. There are paper straws on standby for those with medical reasons that absolutely need a straw but otherwise most drinks can be drunk without a straw. 4 Pines is also going to be partnering with community groups to help support clean-ups on the Northern Beaches so we are looking forward to using any supplies they can donate for our next beach clean!

We also heard from Farley MacDonald, founder of Convenient for Who and the straws petition on to Northern Beaches Council. She was selling Sprocket & Steel straws for another inspirational teenager, Kiara who started her own business after watching the documentary “Garbage Island”.

We were also lucky to hear from Harriet Spark, aka The Grumpy Turtle, about her love for the ocean and how she faces the overwhelming plastic problem every day. As a local beach cleaner who knows that straws are entering the water at an alarming rate every day, she proposed that we all “be the change” and keep going, because awareness is growing.

THE PETITION

There are more than 1000 signatures on the petition and we added another 63 on the night. If you haven’t already signed the petition, please add your name here!

THE ALTERNATIVE STRAWS

Metal, bamboo or paper!

Here are some places to get your hands on these alternatives: Sprocket & Steel, Greenpack.

This list is clearly not exhaustive and we’d like to set up a supplier list for all plastic alternatives, so if you want to be on the list, drop me a line.

THE CALL TO ACTION

Anyone can help our campaign! Next time you’re at your local café, bar or restaurant, ask for “No plastic straw please” and start the conversation. If you know a place that would like to raise awareness about straws and start the transition away from straws, we have “No Straw Thanks” posters that they can use. It can be downloaded from Plastic Free Manly soon or drop me a line to have this customized for your town. We also have “Proudly Plastic Straw Free” posters if it’s a venue that has already made the change.

THANKS TO OUR SUPPORTERS

We are lucky to receive funding from the legends at Sea Life Trust and Manly Sea Life Sanctuary, who also kindly donated a family pass to the aquarium for our raffle. Taronga Conservation Society also donated tickets for our raffle. We had some cool 4 Pines Brewery Tour and caps donated for the raffle. And a rad waterproof Patagonia bag that everyone was frothing over! Thanks so much to these supporters that helped raise money for our campaign through the raffle. These funds will go towards the screening rights for the movie and our plastic pollution campaigns.

We look forward to seeing you at the next event- a beach clean, aquarium tour and outdoor movie screening of A Plastic Ocean!

Written by Alicia Lloyd, Project Manager of SO Manly