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Tuesday, August 16 at 10 p.m. – Bag It!

(Rochester, NY) – As part of WXXI's week-long programming initiative in support of Rochester's first Greentopia Festival, which will be held in September 2011, WXXI presents Bag It. The touching and often funny documentary about how we use and abuse plastic, makes its primetime premiere on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11) Tuesday, August 16 at 10 p.m. Bag It!, by award-winning director Suzan Beraza, takes an eye-opening look at the environmental and health dangers posed by the global use of disposable, non-biodegradable plastic products. Told with wit and humor, the film follows “everyman” Jeb Berrier as he embarks on a global tour to unravel the complexities of our plastic world.

The average American uses about 500 plastic bags each year, for about twelve minutes each. This single-use mentality has led to the formation of a floating island of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean more than twice the size of Texas.

The film explores these issues and identifies how our daily reliance on plastic threatens not only waterways and marine life, but human health, too. Two of the most common plastic additives are endocrine disrupters, which have been shown to link to cancer, diabetes, autism, attention deficit disorder, obesity and infertility.

Jeb is not a radical environmentalist, but an average individual who decides to take a closer look at the world's love affair with plastics. What he discovers is shocking.  The average American uses between 330 - 500 plastic bags a year for an average of 12 minutes before they are discarded (that adds up to about 100-150 BILLION plastic bags used in 2010 in the US alone). There is a floating “island” of plastic and other debris swirling around in the Pacific Ocean known as the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch.’ Unlike most other trash, plastic isn't biodegradable.  Sunlight does eventually “photodegrade” the bonds in plastic polymers, reducing it to smaller and smaller pieces, but it never goes away entirely. And the levels of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean – much of it resembling plankton, i.e., fish food – has at least tripled in the last ten years resulting in plastic entering into our food chain.*

When Jeb discovers that he and his partner are expecting a child, his plastic odyssey becomes a truly personal one. How can they protect their baby from the health dangers associated with plastics? Jeb looks beyond single-use disposable plastics and discovers that virtually everything in modern society – from baby bottles, to sports equipment, to dental sealants, to personal care products – is either made with plastic or contains potentially harmful chemical additives used in the plastic-making process.

Featuring interviews with scientists and experts from around the world, Bag It is a first-person documentary in the style of Michael Moore, asking how we can incorporate healthy, more environmentally friendly practices into our lives, our cultures, and our communities.

Rochester's Greentopia Festival is a two-day interactive fest that celebrates the green movement that is sweeping the globe, and will showcase what the region is doing – and envision a greener region of the future. The festival will be held September 17 and 18, 2011 in High Falls. For a list of all "green" programs airing on WXXI-TV/HD and AM 1370, visit: WXXI.org/gogreen.

 

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WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.