At Monday night’s monthly meeting, local Sierra Club members were treated to a screening of the movie Bag It. Bag It invites viewers on a thoughtful, humorous journey through a society gorging itself on plastic. The film stars Jeb Berrier as its every-man protagonist, and features interviews with marine biology superstar Silvia Earle, “Cradle to Cradle” author Michael Braungart, and many other accomplished conservationists. Unfortunately, no representatives of the plastics industry were willing to take part.
The film highlighted numerous seriously-scary problems with the runaway consumption of disposable plastics, such as their persistence (indefinite), their disastrous effects on marine life, and the human health effects of the various chemical additives. Points were driven-home with excellent visuals. Fortunately, Berrier’s wit kept things from getting too dark, and the film offered the hope that by changing our personal use of plastic we can make a significant change towards ameliorating these effects. For more about this film, see www.bagitmovie.com. For another great documentary, see Mission Blue, which follows the aforementioned Silvia Earle’s inspiring crusade to save the oceans.
Unfortunately, we ran out of time, so only saw about 2/3’s of the movie. At the end, we broke into two discussion groups. Everyone had about 15 minutes to express their views, and the discussions were lively! Many expressed surprise at the number of communities all over the globe which have already taken steps to curb the use of plastic grocery bags, either through an outright ban or by requiring groceries to charge a nominal fee for each plastic bag. This fee provides a small incentive that has been demonstrated to be very effective in encouraging consumers to bring their own reusable bags when grocery shopping.
Matt Trokan passed-out post cards seeking public comments about the plastic-bag problem. Matt is seeking volunteers to willing to host screenings of Bag-It for groups they belong to. He hopes to get a bag-fee proposal to city council soon. Come to the annual picnic to find out more!
Adding a “hands-on” element to the evening, impressive examples of homemade reusable grocery bags were on display, and a tutorial given on how to make your own using nothing but a tee shirt and pair of scissors!
Thanks to everyone who worked to make this month’s “inning” such a success!
Authored by: Matthew Stonecash, volunteer writer