“Bag It – is your life too plastic?” – a documentary film about pollution and the environment

I admit to having put the screening of this film onto my calendar out of a sense of obligation. It was organized by friends. I’m “supposed” to support our local student environmental group. Despite vigorous promotion, the audience was relatively small, and consisted (I think) mostly of people already on board with various environmental causes. People like me…

Sometimes “preaching to the choir” is a good idea. For me, this film clarified the issue and filled in some gaps. I was convinced to take the “problem” of plastic more seriously. The impacts of plastic on marine life are very severe. Plastics that are recycled are generally NOT  returned to their original use, but emerge as lower level products. Repeat recycling of plastics is probably not taking place. (This is in decided contrast to, for example, steel or aluminum, which can be repeatedly processed for high quality uses.)

The movie came out in 2010. By now, an update would be helpful. Some important changes had already taken place and were included, particularly the decisions by major toy makers to remove certain chemicals from their products. 

Parts of the movie are preachy, and it has become more and more clear that telling people to give things up is not going to advance the environmental movement, which needs to stop calling itself that, anyway. (Any social movement needs a new “handle” after 25 years.) Nagging is a turnoff. Better to emphasize health and quality of life. And avoid cliche! “Our grandparents were happy without plastic.” Duh. They were also happy without polio vaccine and window screens. No choice!

Is my life “too plastic”? Looks like most of the plastic in my trash is food packaging… I wish I had more options – I have fond childhood memories of returnable glass milk bottles. 

“Bag It” is too long at 74 minutes. I’m afraid my attention wandered. Two of my friends wrote comments on this subject. With their permission, I will post them shortly.

 

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