Jeremy Irons narrates The Majestic Plastic Bag – A Mockumentary

HealtheBay | August 14, 2010

Help stop our 19 billion bag-a–year habit in California and put an end to plastic pollution. Tell your Senator to support the AB 1998 at http://www.HealtheBay.org/BagBill

You can make the difference.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. Aug. 16, 2010 – As the California Senate prepares to vote on AB 1998, Heal the Bay, an environmental watchdog organization that promotes safe, clean and healthy coastal waters has released a film [http://www.healthebay.org/mockumentary/] charting the “lifecycle” of a plastic bag to promote awareness of plastic pollution in California and beyond.

The mockumentary, filmed in the style of a nature channel documentary program and playfully titled “The Majestic Plastic Bag,” is narrated by Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons and tracks the “migration” of a plastic bag from a grocery store parking lot to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” in the Pacific Ocean.

Though lighthearted in tone, the short film hammers home the stark reality of California’s plastic bag pollution situation: 19 billion bags are used every year, creating over 123,000 tons of unnecessary waste, costing taxpayers $25 million in cleanup costs a year. Less than five percent of all single-use plastic bags are recycled, with many ending up as litter and in the ocean as plastic pollution.

“Rather than lecturing the audience, we wanted to create a film that would capture people’s attention with humor,” said Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay. “At the same time, we saw this as subversive way to make viewers realize the serious, far-reaching problem of single-use plastic bag pollution.”

The Senate is expected to take a floor vote on AB 1998 by the end of August. The measure would create a uniform statewide policy for addressing all types of single-use bags. The Governor has indicated his support if the bill reaches his desk.

If passed, the landmark bill would make California the first state to ban single-use plastic bags at supermarkets, convenience stores and large retail establishments with pharmacies; limit the distribution of paper bags at these stores to encourage consumers to adopt reusable bags; and require reusable bags to be available for purchase at these stores.

“The big goal and challenge for me was creating a piece that was both entertaining as well as informative. I come from the world of comedy, and I believe strongly in the power of humor as a way of making accessible that which otherwise could be inaccessible, uninteresting information,” said director Jeremy Konner of Partizan Pictures.

The film was developed in collaboration between Konner, the creative team at DDB LA, creative director Kevin McCarthy, writers Sarah May Bates and Regie Miller, and Erik Haase, DP. With little to no budget, the entire project was created solely with donated time and resources – many from Heal the Bay supporters within the industry who believe in the concept and the cause.

The film was shot on location throughout Los Angeles and is available on the Heal the Bay website, http://www.healthebay.org as part of its marine debris education and advocacy work. Earlier this year, Heal the Bay launched the first part of this campaign with “Trash Your Friends” [http://trashed.healthebay.org], an April Fool’s Day prank, in which users could “trash” a website with animated garbage to call attention to plastic bag blight. The campaign became an Internet hit for its inventive take on raising awareness about the serious issue of pollution.

More information about AB 1998 and plastic bag pollution is available at http://www.healthebay.org.

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