September STRAWS documentary news
It's been a busy September of production on STRAWS! After attending the North Carolina Marine Debris Symposium at the Blockade Runner Resort in Wrightsville Beach we headed to Georgia for more interview filming. It was meaningful to film in NC, my home state and hear about initiatives and collaborations happening with marine life and environmental organizations, university professors/researchers and waste management to address reduction of plastic marine debris. We interviewed Erik Zettler, Research Professor, SEA Semester and Feletia Lee, Blockade Runner's Environmental Coordinator about the resort switching to paper straws and other plastic reducing measures. Feletia's energy and passion for reducing single-use plastic is infectious!
In nearby Wilmington we visited the amazing Ocean Plastic exhibit at Expo 216 featuring "What Goes Around, Comes Around" by Bonnie Monteleone. Bonnie is an artist, chemist, researcher, Administrative Assistant at UNC Wilmington and Executive Director of Plastic Ocean Project, Inc. This past year POP has been talking to local coastal businesses about straws through their Ocean Friendly Establishments initiative.
Then we hit the highway to Atlanta where we interviewed Pam Longobardi, Distinguished Professor of Art at Georgia State University and Artist-In-Nature for Oceanic Society in her studio. Pam encountered huge amounts of plastic in a remote area of Hawaii in 2006 and since then she's been removing and recording plastic from shorelines and gyres for her DRIFTERS PROJECT. Her impactful exhibitions and installations have been seen in galleries worldwide. Even though I'm focusing on plastic straws, I feel it's important to include a segment to address the totality of plastic in the oceans.
In Athens we caught up with researcher and environmental Jenna Jambeck, Associate Professor, College of Engineering at the University of Georgia. Her research group's findings about plastic waste inputs from land Into the ocean are a predictor of what is to come in the future with growing populations and plastic use. Jenna is also mother of two young boys who understand how plastic is impacting the planet, picking up plastic litter off the beaches when just 18 months old!
It's always a little sad for me to say goodbye to summer. As the daylight wanes, so does the time we have to enjoy all the activities we love in and around water. These activities too often make us see the reality of plastic litter and its proliferation in our environment. Since production on STRAWS started, it's amazing how acutely aware I am now of every single piece of plastic litter I encounter and I'm picking up a lot of plastic straw litter. It's frustrating to see, but it motivates me that this film is needed. But the shorter days and cooler temperatures of Autumn enable me better to hunker down to edit STRAWS footage and send out those kickstarter supporter rewards!
Thanks to all of you for ongoing support. Please share this and join us on social media! - Linda Booker
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