Heal The Bay, an organization dedicated to making the waters off Southern California healthy and clean, has released a new short mockumentary on the life of a plastic bag. The film is being used to promote the passage of AB 1998, a state measure that would ban the single-use of plastic bags in retail stores in California.
Voiced by actor Jeremy Irons, the PSA treats plastic bags as living creatures making their way to the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch. It's all done in a nature documentary-style that's been well received online — and praised for its clever approach in explaining why plastic bags are such a big environmental issue.
Problem is, this angle has been done before. In fact, it was only a few months ago that I told you about a short from independent filmmaker Ramin Bahrani called "Plastic Bag". That film was voiced by actor/director Werner Herzog and, just like Heal The Bay's version, followed a plastic bag from its life in the grocery store to its eventual home in the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch.
Did Heal The Bay rip off Bahrani's idea? It rather appears that way — though I'm not sure the director would mind a nonprofit using his concept for good. You be the judge by having a look at both versions below: