Arts and Entertainment

Plastic Entanglements film series continues with 'Bag It' on March 20

“Bag It” is an award-winning feature-length film that takes a closer look at America’s dependence on plastic. Credit: ProvidedAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A screening of the documentary “Bag It” will be held at 7 p.m. on March 20 in the Flex Theatre of the HUB-Robeson Center at University Park. The event is free and open to the public.

“Bag It” is an award-winning feature-length film that takes a closer look at America’s dependence on plastic. It is part of the film series for Plastic Entanglements, an exhibition organized by the Palmer Museum of Art that explores the complex story of plastic.

The film follows Jeb Berrier, an admitted “everyman,” who brings a single plastic bag home from the grocery store. He proceeded as many Americans do — shoving the bag inside another bag and storing it out of sight under the sink. His journey leads to the question: Are plastic bags really necessary?

Image from "Bag It" shows debris collection in Ballona Creek, a waterway outside of Los Angeles, California Credit: Bill MacDonald, Algalita Marine Research FoundationAll Rights Reserved.

“Plastic bags are unnecessary, and they're damaging,” said Peter Buckland, academic program manager for the Sustainability Institute. “Ultimately, from a sustainability point of view, I think we can and will create smarter and healthier economies by using smarter and healthier materials.”

According to the film’s website, 60,000 single-use plastic bags are used every five minutes in the United States alone, most of which are mindlessly thrown away. Even when properly discarded, these bags are easily blown into waterways or the landscape, becoming eyesores and potential hazards to human health, wildlife and marine ecosystems. Other disposable plastic products are equally damaging to the environment.

“There's so much evidence that convenience plastics like disposable plastic bags, single-use plastic water bottles, other packaging and cosmetics are doing awful things to people and life on earth,” said Buckland. “If things go as they are, there will be more plastic mass in the ocean than there is biomass by 2050. More plastics than life. You don't have to be an environmentalist to think that's a terrifying notion. We ought to be more responsible than that.”

The film series will continue on April 19 with “Plastic Paradise.”

The event is co-supported by the Sustainability Institute, University Libraries and the Palmer Museum of Art.

Last Updated March 20, 2018