“Documentary is a Powerful Look at the Impacts of Plastics on Society”

Americans use 60,000 plastic bags every five minutes, disposable bags that they throw away without much thought. But where is “away?” Where do the bags and other plastics end up, and at what cost to the environment, marine life and human health?

Bag It follows “everyman” Jeb Berrier as he navigates our plastic world. Jeb is not a radical environmentalist, but an average American who decides to take a closer look at our cultural love affair with plastics. Jeb’s journey in this documentary film starts with simple questions: Are plastic bags really necessary? What are plastic bags made from? What happens to plastic bags after they are discarded? What he learns quickly grows far beyond plastic bags.

What he discovers is shocking:

  • The average American uses about 500 plastic bags each year, for an average of 12 minutes before they are discarded.
  • Two million plastic bottles are consumed in the U.S. every five minutes, less then 25% are recycled.
  • The average American contributes 800 pounds of packaging waste to landfills per year.
  • 14 million pounds of trash end up in the ocean each year.
  • The floating “island” of plastic and other debris swirling around in the North Pacific Gyre is believed to be more than twice the size of Texas.
  • Plastic debris resembles plankton—fish food—and there is 40 times more plastic than Plankton in some parts of the ocean. In this way plastic enters our food chain.
  • It is estimated that 100,000 marine mammals and sea birds die each year from becoming entangled in or ingesting plastic debris.
  • Plastic bags are made of fossil fuels such as petroleum and natural gas, which are non-renewable resources.
  • The U.S. was once the largest exporter of oil in the world. Now, it is the largest importer.
  • Ireland reduced its plastic bag use by 90% after instituting a fee on single-use disposable plastic bags.
  • China banned “ultra thin” plastic bags in 2008. They reduced their use by 40 billion bags in the first year.

5 Responses to About

  1. Lara S. says:

    Where can I watch/download Bag It? I’ve looked everywhere and I can’t find it! By the way I’m in Argentina, so I can’t go to a screening. 😦

  2. I did not know plastic was made from petroleum. After 46 years in the business, i thought it was derived from plentiful natural gas or naptha in the rest of the world. I have visited dozens of resin plants and have never seen one which inputs oil ( petroleum ) and outputs commodity resins. How many plants that use oil are there in the US and where are they located ?

  3. Jasir says:

    I like this blog…….talking about plastic etc.

  4. Elise Cheval says:

    Hi Rebecca!

    Thank you for your dedication to raising awareness about our love affair with the plastic bag. Thank you for your documentary film about Jeb. You might be interested in my recent art show, currently at O’Hanlon Center For the Arts in Mill Valley, through Feb. 28. You can see the video of my work at elisecheval goesvideo on You Tube, under title A Woman For All Seasons and the video, A Sea Odyssey:2012, of my singing/improv performance about plastic, human health and the oceans while wearing my Whole Foods-winning suit, Wake Up Call.

    Elise Cheval

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