Bag It – Woodbridge Library 22.9.17
Woodbridge Library was bursting at the seams at maximum capacity as 50 people came to watch a highly informative film, Bag It, hosted for free by Transition Woodbridge on Friday evening. Bag It explored some very thoughtprovoking issues around our crazy-for-plastic world and best of all what can we do about it.
Despite being released in 2009 and filmed in America, it was clear that the issues in the UK and in our home towns are very similar.
The film started exploring the use of plastic bags – an international success story as thin plastic bags have been banned in many countries since the release of the film, and the use of reusable bags has been rapidly taken up by many shoppers, thanks to a small charge.
It then went on to explore the out-of-control quantities of single use plastic packaging items that are binned almost immediately, often not recycled or recycleable. “It takes 70 million years to make a drop of oil. This is then made into plastic – a highly energy intensive process, used in 5 minutes and binned – when you think of it like that, we must be crazy? Added to that we discovered that it takes a quarter of a plastic bottle of oil, to make that plastic bottle! Surely oil is too valuable to waste like this?” said Charlie Zakss, one of the organisers of the event.
Of course recycling is an option, but the film concentrated on the need to cut down on these plastics in the first place, not just rely on recycling, especially as there are very few types of plastic that can be successfully recycled (itself a very confusing business)! Instead it suggested redesigning packaging, looking at alternatives such as cotton reusable fruit and veg bags, taking your own coffee cup, buying a re-usable stainless steel water bottle rather than buying water in a disposable bottle and shopping locally to avoid the need for food packaging. All simple actions we could personally undertake.
Marine debris and ocean health was another very disturbing topic. A phenomenal amount of plastic rubbish is causing devastation in our oceans, creating a huge plastic soup in massive gyres in every ocean, with a devastating effect on marine creatures who mistake plastic for food. The need for litter picking in towns as well as beaches is more important than previously realised, as inevitably litter dropped in our town, reaches the sea through storm drains and ends up polluting fragile oceans.
Finally the film discussed Human Health. Many of the audience were surprised to discover the possible effects of chemicals in plastics on the human body, especially in utero: Lower sperm counts, hyper activity in children, autism, diabetes, breast and prostate cancer, heart disease…this list continues. Questions were asked and discussed about what we can do to reduce these effects, both as individuals and also as a town. It became obvious that people felt this was something we could change.
Bag It makes it clear that it is time for a paradigm shift. The audience made it clear they were ready to make it happen in Woodbridge. Let’s do it!
If anyone would like to licence the film, please contact Transition Woodbridge or firstname.lastname@example.org