Globe in a Bag

I’ve had some very good news from the producer of the movie Bag It, and as plastic bags have been a hot topic on this blog, I wanted to share.

I met the producer, Michelle Hill, at the Blue Ocean Film Festival in Monterey last year, where she was picking up an award for “Best Movie in Festival”. Bag It is the “Supersized Me” of plastic bags – a lighthearted yet informative look at a serious issue. And it’s good to see that the filmmakers have maintained their momentum with an ongoing campaign to support bans on bags.

Michelle writes:

As of this summer, we are launching our new educational distribution initiative with New Day Films! We hope to get Bag It in the hands of libraries, educators, and universities across the country this fall and beyond. Check out our New Day site HERE! Please help us spread the word about the film’s availability for teachers across the nation! We can’t do it alone. Licensing fees have also been reduced through New Day for high schools and community groups.

“We are also excited to let you know about Bag It’s new Education Advocate Program. For generous supporters of Bag It who’d like to increase its access to budget-stressed libraries and schools, a tax-deductible donation of $750 Bag It earns 10 Bag It Educational DVDs and companion curriculum guides to donate to local schools or libraries. We hope to see this program grow to be an incredible army of on-the-ground educators, armed with Bag It, among other tools. To become an Advocate, click here to register.”

She also shares the news that Bellingham, WA, has banned the bag, with city council voting unanimously for a ban on plastic bags in addition to a fee on paper bags. Congratulations to Bellingham on their significant outbreak of common sense! I hope it’s contagious!

It would be fantastic if London is next. Or how about your town? If my blogs have got you inspired to do something to make a difference in the world, why not organize a community screening of Bag It []? Invite along your city council and see if you can persuade them to banish the bag too!

Other Stuff:

Conditions continue yucky. Last night we had a bit of a capsize, but no harm done. I was safely strapped into my bunk at the time. It did occur to me, if I’d have happened to look out of the cabin hatch at precisely the right moment, might I have seen a surprised-looking dorado outside?!

Quote of the day, on the subject of bags: “Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.” (Alexander Solzhenitsyn)

Sponsored Miles: Remembering Larry Grandt; thanking Bruce Gervais for sponsoring a mile beyond Roz’s destination.


  • Alright, call me stupid and uninformed, I don’t mind. But while I understand the issue with plastic bags, I don’t understand what’s so wrong with paper bags. Unlike plastic, paper is both recyclable and combustible. If nothing else, can’t paper be turned into electricity when disposed of? Plus, paper is a renewable resource.
    I happen to use canvas bags for my weekly grocery shopping with the family, but that’s awfully inconvenient when you’re just popping out for one or two small items, or when getting takeout from a sandwich shop. Ban plastic bags, yes. I’m all for it. But it seems to me there’s no harm and a lot of benefit to switching to paper

  • Afterthought: rather than banning plastic, what about charging a fee for it, with paper bags being free of charge? That way, you let the free market force the plastic bag out of existence, avoiding the heavy hand of an outright government ban.
    Just a thought.

    • Tom, charging for plastic bags happens in the uk by at least one big retailer. sadly the charge is to small (5p), so most people have them anyway! I guess it has helped a little to reduce plastic use….but the charge needs to be high enough to really make people think!!.sadly supermarket chains in the UK are not yet brave enough.
      ROZ!!…..please stop this capsize game!!!!!..your understated description of what, to most people , would be utterly disasterous is incredible. come home soon (mind you, in some ways, you are lucky to be away from a world that is increasingly going bonkers!!!) David church

  • Holy Dorado Roz! Is this not your first capsize on this Row? Did I miss something? Seems that a full-on capsize would be somewhat eventful. Instead you play it off like just another day in the office. I am glad that you made it of coarse, just a little shocked at your very brief description as I have seen other ocean rowers on youtube be a little more shaken at a capsize. Sending you another knuckle thump and words and thoughts that translate into encouragement. We all await for your arrival soon … as I am now out of finger nails and have started yoga stretching poses 🙂

    Damage report? Duct tape hold everything down? I have Gorilla Tape, it is the Roz version of duct tape.

    Cheers Roz, Take care, we are working on setting up that party for you in the Bay Area. Your Bay Area team is ON! 

    If anybody would like to show Bag It accompanied with Roz’s Atantic Ocean   Documentary in the SF Bay Area (or Roz’s documentary solo), please contact me. I am going to show it off at Roz’s arrival celebration in San Francisco.

    Row Roz Row! 

    Oh dear, Rita… I have no words…~Jay 

  • I don’t know if this approach has been taken in eliminating plastic bags, but I think if the retailers (all the way from big grocery chains to little shops) realized the cost saving to them of not having to provide bags, that would go a long way to supporting the cause.

    We shouldn’t be penalizing retailers by making them charge for bags (an accounting nightmare, no doubt…at a price) or forcing them to produce reusable bags (another cost). If they were just made aware of the millions of dollars it would save them, I think that would be a great incentive.

    When I was running my small antique store, at first I bought bags…but the cost was astronomical….especially for a small business. So when that first load of bags ran out, I started just reusing my own grocery bags…and especially bags I got when shopping at department stores and boutiques (those people pay a fortune on their shopping bags.) Customers loved the recycled bags! And it saved me a ton of money.

    So there you go…that’s my 2 cents on the subject. Make it a positive option for retailers and I think things will progress faster.

    • DogsDontPurr~

      You could easily make the argument that… If you would like to see your business proceed throughout generations, then it would be to the business’s benefit to adopt measures that would ensure that the world as we know it would still be there. 

      Here some friends in Oakland, CA have produced an eco friendly product for current sale…

      Et al: If you are looking for a business in today’s evolving economy, might I suggest looking at any and all plastic products and finding ways to minimize or altogether cut out plastic, and then developing the means to produce and market it. Re-inventing the metal razor blade that my uncle left me is one really good idea. 🙂

      Just sayin~


    • If your department stores and boutiques stopped using plastic bags – and the supermarkets – you would not have any to offer your customers. Perhaps we should be more like the primitive hunter-gatherers – they would have had to go prepared with a container to carry their finds. We should get into the habit of always carrying some sort of bag with us. There are pocket-sized bags available. You never know when it might come in handy.

  • Evening Roz, Well some good global news – ATT announced they are using a new packaging made from sugar cane. This will replace the petroleum clam shell packaging. Whew – brains meets opportunity – again. Some cell phones are even switching to  non oil based products.yeah! One day at a time , kinda of like rowing?  I know you are being tossed about like a pea in a blender . Not the first or last – rodeo for a veteran wave slicer like yourself. It is a bit frustrating. Your route, time line and destination are a mystery to all but a few. Respect that. Please know your welcome to dry land would be a bigger gala if safety where  not of the paramount. I hope you feel our knowing and caring respect for all the issues that make this journey ….. a very important environmental passage. You are cracking a trail few have the courage to venture even close to the edge. Keep your mind on task Savage. You have many hearts , minds and friends to teach , to laugh with. Before you hang up your oars. Sending you strength from afar friend. Smiles from across the table. See your end in site. The last miles / weather will be rough . Remember – if it where easy – a man would have done this  – … not 🙂 
    “If you want a place in the sun, you have to put up with a few blisters”. Abigail Van Buren
    “time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations”. Faith Baldwin
    “Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it , you can make it so”. Belva davis.
    Eye bsavage- you be you 😉

  • I’m from Seattle, where various grocers give a 5c to 10c discount for bringing your own bags.  However I’m in DC now which has begun charging 5c for plastic bags (haven’t seen paper be an option).  The charge does seem far more psychologically effective than the credit!
    I prefer paper whereever I go, and even though it’s a somewhat renewable resource (you can say plastic is recyclable, too), trees take an awful long time to grow…

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