Durham Mayor Steve Schewel has a challenge for soft drink sippers during the month of March – buck the straw.
Schewel has proclaimed March “No Straws Month” in conjunction with Friday’s observance of “National Skip the Straw Day.”
He used a screening Feb. 22 of the award-winning documentary “Straws” by local filmmaker Linda Booker to issue the challenge. Schewel encouraged people to give up the straw habit and help spread awareness about the damage caused by disposable plastics.
“Single-use plastics that find their way onto our streets get washed through storm drains into local creeks and all the way to the ocean,” Schewel said. “Plastic litter is a roadside eyesore, and it also can be fatal to river and ocean animals.”
It is estimated that more than 500 million plastic drinking straws are used and discarded every day in the United States. That’s enough to wrap around Earth two and a half times if they were stretched end to end. If they are thrown in the trash, they can end up in rivers, lakes and oceans where they can harm wildlife and impair water quality, a press release from Keep Durham Beautiful, Inc., said.
“By taking the pledge and refusing single-use plastic straws, Durhamites can help reduce litter at its source and support more sustainable models of use and re-use,” said Keep Durham Beautiful executive director Tania Dautlick.
Take the pledge at www.keepdurhambeautiful.org/straws.