Bay Street Theater to Eliminate Plastic Bottles and Straws

Bay Street Theater staff Mary Grady, Tracy Mitchell, Kim Fink and Michelle Wilson are saying goodbye to single use plastics in 2019. Photo courtesy of Bay Street Theater

Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Center for the Arts announced late last month it is putting out a challenge to all of Main Street, Sag Harbor to eliminate single-use plastic water bottles and plastic straws in 2019. The theater will ditch the plastics in 2019 beginning at its Friday Night Flicks film series in February.

To launch the campaign, Bay Street will join forces with the Group for the East End, with the showing of the film “Straws,” a film by Linda Booker and narrated by Oscar winner Tim Robbins on Friday, February 1 at 8 pm. The film presentation will be followed by a talk back with a member from the organization and Bay Street’s Executive Director, Tracy Mitchell. The documentary explains the wreckage made of wildlife in the seas and other ramifications due to plastic straws. An additional group of shorts on environmental health issues produced by Public Interest Media Group will also be shown that evening, followed by a talkback with resident Susan Lamontagne.

“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,” said Ms. Mitchell. “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.”

But no one will be forced to buy a Swell-type bottle for a drink of water. Once financing is secured, Bay Street Theater will replace its current water fountain, and install a new water fountain, complete with a refilling station for use with reusable water bottles. Bay Street will also sell reusable bottles for those who need them. Some paper straws for those with disabilities or the very young will be made available upon request only.

Bay Street is still looking for alternatives to the use of its single-use eco-plastic drink cups, which Mitchell 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,” said Ms. Mitchell.