Plastics back in the limelight

DOWNEY - More plastic was manufactured in the first decade of this century than in the entire previous history of plastic manufacturing, beginning in the 1950's.All the plastic ever created still exists as plastic. Plastic was designed to last, and it does: the life of plastic is projected to be several hundred to a thousand years. There are huge accumulations of plastic in the world's oceans. Not all of it is visible, because plastic photo-degrades into small particles about the size of plankton, a fundamental link in the marine food chain. So fish and other marine animals are now eating a lot of plastic. Eighty percent of this ocean plastic debris is, by most estimates, land-based, so it comes from you and me. Not only are animals ingesting plastic, but so are humans--in small but increasing amounts, due not only to its presence in the food supply, but also because of its use in the construction of many food containers. This human ingestion has significant health effects, especially in babies. These and other interesting and sobering facts about plastic are all included in the award-winning documentary, "Bag It," which will be screened this Saturday, Dec. 10, at Downey First Christian Church. Downey First Christian is located at 4th and New Streets, just up the block from the Krikorian. The movie is free, open to the public, and begins at 7:00 p.m. (You can watch a trailer at bagitmoviecom.) While the film does not present a religious perspective, Senior Pastor Dave Smith notes why Downey First Christian has decided to present it: "We are showing 'Bag It' to raise awareness of the environmental and health impact associated with the way our culture uses plastics so that we can make informed personal decisions regarding our own use of plastics and be equipped to use our voice in the arena of public policy." A charming, poignant, and delicate subplot is that its narrator, a small-town Colorado "everyman," and his wife give birth to their first child during the course of the film. In this hectic, plastic-filled season--when many Christians are searching for meaningful ways to celebrate the birth of another first-born Son--the "Bag It" movie seems especially timely. Lars Clutterham is the co-founder of downeygreen, a local non-profit organization advocating sustainability.

********** Published: December 8, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 34