Over two decades ago, seeing plastics in the gutters and in the trees in NYC, Sharon Rowe, the founder of Eco-Bags Products, questioned the concept of “away.” “When I throw something ‘away,’ where does it go? Where is ‘away’? There is no away.”
We need to understand that our modern day convenience of single-use plastic bags and other single-use items seem free, but it actually comes at a very high cost to our health and to our environment,” says Sharon.
On Wednesday evening, October 23rd, the Ossining Documentary & Discussion Series will screen the film, “Bag It,’ which opens with Sharon’s query and asks, “is your life too plastic?” The film humorously and informatively explores the issues surrounding single-use plastic shopping bags and their environmental impact. With plastic bag bans and fees being debated both locally and globally, the film is incredibly relevant today.
The event is free and open to the public. It will be held at the Ossining Public Library’s Budarz Theatre and everyone is invited to stay after the movie for a lively discussion. The Theatre opens at 6:15 and the film starts at 6:30.
Join us on Wednesday with Sharon, who is featured in the film and is a guest panelist for the event, and judge: Is your life too plastic?
I walk to work everyday. It’s about a one mile walk down the main street of my “village” which is about 45 minutes north of NYC. Not too many people walk. On this particular day I decided to take pictures of all the random plastic bags and bits I saw along my route. Why? We’re showing “BagIt”, the movie, in a few weeks as part of a film series, the Ossining Documentary and Discussion series. I decided it would be a good idea to do a slide show as people enter the theatre and share my “findings.” Most people drive and don’t notice all the plastic debris which is part of the problem, as I see it. When you drive by at 30mph you’re in a different reality.
As I was walking I started to have that good feeling. The feeling like I am part of the solution, the personal awakening and sharing of seeing how much plastic is littering our village. But then, I decided to get a cup of coffee at a local cafe. I pass this cafe everyday but never stopped in. As I was “parking” my dog, Bear, the owner asked if I’d like coffee. I said “yes, with milk” and went inside to get it and pay him. That’s when I went from feeling like I was part of the solution to understanding how deep the problem is. The owner handed me my coffee in a styrofoam cup. I paused. I asked, “do you have any other types of cups? Does your restaurant supply distributor only have these?” He looked at me in a weird way, partially because he didn’t understand my question in English. I paid for the coffee and left with my styrofoam cup. Good coffee, bad cup, feeling bad.
If I was in Santa Cruz or Boulder or Seattle this would be a non issue. With zero waste initiatives in communities, styrofoam has been removed from the supply chain. But here, just north of NYC, I learned that if I want to stay on the “solution” path, I have to ask to see the cup before I get my coffee in any local business or, better yet, I have to bring my own mug wherever I go.
The next step is bigger. I need to step up my game, get more involved and generate an agenda of zero waste in our village in order to finds ways to inspire community members and incentivize shops and cafes to choose different cups and containers. I don’t think “coffee to go” will stop but I can stop being part of the problem.
What will your impact be?
-Written by: Toro Adeyemi, ECOBAGS® Brand Advocate
A few weeks ago, we worked with the Pleasantville Farmer’s Market in raising awareness about the importance of using reusable bags (see below for the Top 10 Reasons to Bring Your Own Bag). Edwin Kuo of the Pleasantville Recycles Team said that, “The ECOBAGS brand samples that we presented at our table were a fantastic talking point for Pleasantville-Recycles. They presented a great example of how we can replace plastic produce bags with ones that are easily washable and maintained. Many people that came by the table asked us how they could purchase the bags.” We’re happy to support a cause that aligns so strongly with us!
There’s been a national movement towards banning plastic bags. Which side are you on?
On Tuesday, October 8th, Pleasantville Recycles will hold a free screening of Bag It, a film about the negative environmental impact that plastic bags create. Watch it tomoorrow at 405 Manville Road in Pleasantville at 7pm.
Can’t make it then? The Ossining Documentary and Discussion Series will be screening Bag It on 10/23. Stay tuned for a very special guest panelist!