STRAWS is an award-winning 30-minute documentary film by Linda Booker that highlights the devastating levels of non-recyclable straws and other plastic pollution in our waterways and oceans. In addition to entertaining, the film inspires immediate action by illustrating how individuals, groups and business owners around the globe are reducing single-use plastic through their individual actions, education, outreach, environmental stewardship and policy change.
The documentary includes interviews with Jackie Nunez, founder of The Last Plastic Straw, restaurant owners with "Straws by Request Only" policies, renown marine biologist and author Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, researcher Dr. Jenna Jambeck and Drifters Project artist Pam Longobardi. On location in Costa Rica, Turtle researchers Nathan Robinson and Christine Figgener, PhD student, Texas A&M University, tell the story of the rescued sea turtle with a plastic straw in its nostril that went viral in 2015. That story inspired middle school age student Max Machum to start #NoStrawChallenge #SinPajillaPorFavor and shows how a person of any age can join a movement around the world to make a sea of change, one plastic straw at a time.
The 30 minute format is ideal for K-12 classrooms, allowing time for screening, Q&A, discussion and survey results in a one hour period. Students learn about the history of straws through light-hearted opening animated sequence, which establishes a fun and upbeat tone. Interviews and stories are integrated well with graphics throughout The students see first hand the suffering of marine life through the famous footage of a plastic straw being pulled out of the turtle’s nose, which creates an emotional reaction that induces the desire to make change. Students in the film are featured in discussion about plastic pollution and alternatives, and the general tone is family friendly and delivers numerous facts in an entertaining and digestible way. The film is a great example of edu-tainment.