Posts Tagged ‘plastic bags’

Opening Night San Francisco Green Film Festival – Bag It

Friday, March 4th, 2011

bag itIn the hopefully not so distant future when “paper or plastic” will be answered with “neither”, the documentary “Bag It” takes an in depth view of ubiquitous plastic bags. Actually the film graduates (with the scene from “The Graduate” about plastics) from an initial look at disposable plastic bag culture that the world lives in and moves into how plastic continues to envelop our lives, health and economy.

This relatively simple film rides on the back of director Suzan Beraza and front man Jeb Berrier. The film uses a variety of interviews, archive clips and even some animation to drive home the point that plastic bags and pretty much all plastic containers continue to take a toll on the environment, marine life and human health. Thanks to Berrier, the film floats along swimmingly as he represents an “everyman” from small town Colorado who isn’t a tree hugger but realizes that plastic has taken over his life and not for the better. Berrier comes off as a George Costanza (from Seinfeld) character with a wry sense of humor who learns how plastic strangles not only his life but also the world we live in.

In the latter half of the film, Bag It moves beyond plastic bags and looks at the pervasiveness of plastic and the toxic aspects without becoming too preachy. Director Beraza and Berrier even make fun of the American Chemical Council members for ducking all requests to appear in the film.

Bag It does a solid job of alerting viewers to chemical dangers of plastic ingredients like BPA and phthalates and offers solid interviews and explanations.

Bag It could have could have been double bagged with more of an emotional punch that would have raised this docu pic to a higher level. It also could have wrapped up with more of a group “call to action” so people can feel empowered against the chemical and plastic companies.

Bag It certainly does its best to educate and entertain audience members. With funny front man Berrier leading the charge, perhaps Bag It will do for plastic bags what Morgan Sperlock did for McDonald’s fast food.

No Reusuable Bag Credit at Safeway

Monday, March 29th, 2010

safewayEvery once in awhile we get desperate enough to enter Safeway (mostly late night) for items that the not so green corner store doesn’t have. Just the other night we made one of those late night expeditions to the Safeway on Market Street with our reusable bag in hand.

After selecting a few items we ended up choosing the self-service line. We only selected the self-serve line because the human based checkout lines (the few that they opened) had monstrous lines. We certainly don’t support the notion of self-service as it simply eliminates jobs and makes things worse for the local economy (but of course it helps Safeway’s bottom line). Ever hear of the 3 Ps? People, planet, profit.

Before doing our own self-service scanning, we asked for customary bag credit (not that 3 cents will significantly  cut our bill down but just to make a statement). The two people overseeing the self-serve robot lines said that they don’t offer the bag credit any more. We asked what they were now doing to encourage people to bring their own reusable bags (e.g. the weekly raffle that Trader Joe’s offers). The smugly replied, “Nothing.”

They honestly didn’t seem to care if customers bring their own reusable bags or they distribute plastic or paper bags. It doesn’t seem that sustainability can be found in Safeway’s culture or philosophy. If this store wasn’t in San Francisco, we might have thought that we clicked our heels together and ended up in Kansas.