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Jan 7, 2019 11:20 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Bay Street Theater To Spearhead Effort To Curtail Use Of Plastic Water Bottles And Straws

Mary Grady, Tracy Mitchell, Kim Fink and Michele Wilson.  COURTESY BAY STREET THEATER
Jan 8, 2019 1:46 PM

Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor plans to stop using plastic water bottles and straws—and it is challenging Main Street shops and restaurants in Sag Harbor to follow suit.

The year-round, not-for-profit professional theater and community cultural center announced last month that it will be kicking off the initiative at the first of its “Friday Night Flicks” film series beginning in February.

To launch the campaign, the theater will join forces with the Group for the East End in showing “Straws,” a film by Linda Booker that is narrated by Oscar-winner Tim Robbins, on Friday, February 1, at 8 p.m.

The film presentation will be followed by a discussion with a member of the Group for the East End and the theater’s executive director, Tracy Mitchell. The documentary explains the destructive effect on wildlife of plastic straws that make their way into the sea.

An additional group of shorts will also be shown that evening, titled “60 MiNueTs, Toxic!” The series on environmental health issues was produced by the Public Interest Media Group and will also be followed by a discussion with a local environmental advocate, Susan Lamontagne.

Bay Street Theater plans to replace its current water fountain with a new one complete with a refilling station for reusable water bottles, which it will also sell. Some straws for those with disabilities or the very young will be made available upon request.

“While getting rid of straws and other single-use plastics is not a new idea, it was one that struck me again during a recent trip to Canada,” Ms. Mitchell said in a press release. “While visiting a major tourist area and having forgotten my own reusable water bottle that I normally travel with, I asked to purchase a bottle of water. I was quickly informed that none were sold, and that one could purchase only a metal reusable water bottle and fill it at the refilling station.

“I must admit, my first reaction was to be a bit annoyed. But that was the ‘aha’ moment. We, all of us, need to do a better job of changing our own habits, and that we need to begin, as always, right in our own backyard.”

Ms. Mitchell even has plans to put existing plastic straws to good use. “We can make some type of artwork out of the straws that we have left. Maybe there are some artists or students out there who wish to help? We look forward to working with everyone on Main Street to think creatively to help our environment in this one small but, hopefully, meaningful way,” she said.

Bay Street Theater is still looking for alternatives to the use of its single-use eco-plastic drink cups, which Ms. Mitchell said she believes are still an issue. “As we don’t have the space or permits for dishwashing of glass or other types of drink cups, we’ll still be looking for alternatives on that issue. But the removal of plastic water bottles and straws will be a good first step.”

Tickets for the evening, which cost $12, are available at www.baystreet.org or by calling the box office at 631-725-9500.

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Thank you Bay Street Theater!
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Jan 7, 19 5:58 PM