If you love "Planet Earth", "LIFE" and other nature shows on fascinating animal life, you won’t want to miss this new documentary on the latest endangered species — the plastic bag!
Created by an environmental nonprofit called Heal the Bay, this four-minute video dubbed “The Majestic Plastic Bag” adds a twist to the nature show style in a hilariously deadpan mockumentary, complete with a Sturm-und-Drang soundtrack and a narrator with a British accent who describes the journey of the plastic bag with breathless melodrama: “It is now nightfall, and our highly advanced night-vision cameras have managed to capture, for the first time in history, a plastic bag in pitch black. Phenomenal.”
The mockumentary is extra ironic because its "American Beauty"-esque videography of the plastic bag is at times rather beautiful — and because the plastic industry has actually tried to portray the plastic bag as an endangered species with its “Save the Plastic Bag” campaign — a campaign that has delayed city and county-level plastic bag bans and fees with lawsuits or threats of lawsuits.
All those delays will hopefully come to an end this month, when the senate votes on AB 1998 — a bill to ban disposable plastic bags and virgin paper bags come January 2012. If passed, Californians will only be able to get disposable paper bags made with at least 40 percent recycled content. And even then, reusable bag forgetters will have to pay a quarter to buy the recycled disposable bags.
Heal the Bay is now urging Californians to call their state senators to support AB 1998. I feel quite lucky, because my state assemblymember, Julia Brownley, authored AB 1998 — which is co-sponsored by my state senator, Fran Pavley.
Call your state senator to find out how he or she is voting. (You can find your senator’s phone number here). And if your senator is already behind the bill, send a letter to California Senate President Darrell Steinberg expressing your support for AB1998.