Posted by: lauraearly | April 14, 2011

Bag It: There is no away

Last night, Sanibel Sea School and Big Arts hosted a screening of the Blue Ocean Film Festival Winner, Bag It. Joined by director Suzan Beraza, we enjoyed the film and then had the opportunity to continue the conversation over snacks and drinks.

I think that is Jeb under all those plastic bags...

Bag It takes us along on Jeb Berrier’s journey of discovery of how plastics affect our lives and our planet. Jeb also shows us that it is possible to live a life with less plastic. It is an eye-opening film that makes it hard to ignore that versatile and convenient material that is virtually everywhere on this planet.

Many of the plastics in our lives are only used for a few minutes, or even a few hours, and then are thrown away. Bag It points out, though, “There is no away.” Plastic debris doesn’t disappear. It will take hundreds of years for a plastic bag to break down into microscopic pieces, but even then, it still has not gone away.

I might be going out on a limb here, but I would say that it is now pretty common knowledge that plastic debris in the ocean is a major threat to marine life. However, what is not common knowledge is the solution to that problem. The answer is not just to stop littering. It’s not even to recycle more. We have to start using less, and creating less waste.

The film gives some staggering statistics about the rate that we, as Americans, go through plastics. Single-use disposable plastics, plastics created to be used once and then thrown away, are contributing enormously to the amount of trash we create. Consequently, cutting them out of your life can make an enormous difference. “It doesn’t really change the quality of your life, and it’s not that hard,” Beraza testified.

Plastic shopping bags are an example of a single-use disposable product that can painlessly be eliminated from your everyday life. “It’s a great first step for people to take,” Beraza said about toting reusable bags.

There is no disguising the fact that plastic is a huge, scary problem, but don’t let that discourage you. Take it one step at a time, like Jeb does, and do what you can. Then, give yourself a pat on the back, and know that your actions are helping to ensure a better future for our planet and our society!

Check out the trailer below, and I encourage you to watch the full version. It’s a great film that will change the way you look at plastic.

This coming week, the film is being broadcast on Public Television stations around the country. Find the times for your local station here. You can also find a screening near you through the nationwide Do Something Reel Film Festival.

Bag It Intro from Suzan Beraza on Vimeo.

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