The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
April 12, 2010

YouTube presents: Bags & Bottles

Friends have forwarded me a whole slew of fantastic videos recently about plastic bags and plastic bottles.  Here are three that I love.  Please take the time to watch.

Bring Your Canvas Bags

This one is totally addictive.  It starts out slow but builds until you find yourself humming it in your sleep. The video did come out a while ago, but even if you’ve seen it already, why not watch it again?

Life of a Plastic Bag

Taking it down a notch, this 18 minute video narrated by Werner Herzog is weirdly beautiful, if not entirely accurate. A plastic bag suffers an existential crisis after betrayal by the woman who brought him home from the store. If he could find her again, he would tell her one thing. Watch to find out what that one thing is.

The Story of Bottled Water

Annie Leonard has done it again. After explaining the Story of Stuff, she takes us on a journey through the Story of Bottled Water. Check out what Annie learned when she followed the water bottles from a community recycling programs.  It’s not what most people think.

A couple of weeks ago, I overheard a passenger on my BART train telling another rider that he liked bottled water so much he’d bathe in it if he could afford to.  Well, of course, I couldn’t let that go, so I jumped in and explained why bottled water is one of the biggest scams of all time.  He wouldn’t hear it.  I wish I could have shown him this video.

10 Responses to “YouTube presents: Bags & Bottles”

  1. Hilary says:

    Update… after looking for best prices, reviews, etc. I ordered an EcoUsable 25 oz bottle.

    The one I got was defective; when I wrote them to say I couldn’t get any water out of the darn thing, they immediately said they’d send me a new one free. So, points on customer service.

    Unfortunately, the cap and interior filter assembly are made of plastic – they are labeled PP 5 (polypropylene) which I understand from reading the National Geographic Green Guide is one of the plastics that is not known (so far) to leach toxic chemicals. Have you heard anything to the contrary on that?

    Meanwhile, though, every effort I made to get water out of my defective bottle *tasted* like plastic. Gross. It’s hard to for me to imagine that something that leaches plastic *taste* doesn’t leach plastic *chemicals*, you know what I mean? I’m hoping the non-defective version will be better.

  2. Hilary says:

    Ooooo… I did not even know about bottles with built-in filters. I’m so glad I posted my grumpyness :D Thanks!!

  3. Hilary says:

    P.S. That probably sounded grumpier than I intended. It is an honest & friendly question, though I do fear the answer ;)

    • Beth Terry says:

      Hilary, I didn’t read it as grumpy at all. But I can understand why you would be grumpy if your city has crappy water.

      So, what to do? Just try really hard to remember to bring the filtered water from home. If you don’t have it, and you’re desperate, you have to do what you have to do. But remember a few things:

      1) Bottled water is not as regulated as tap water, so there’s no guarantee that what you’re drinking from that bottle is any better.

      2) When we all resort to bottled water and give up on the tap, the bottled water companies win. What we need to be doing is agitating for better municipal water! We can’t let our water infrastructure crumble and give in to corporate privatization of our water supplies.

      3) There are reusable water bottles with built in water filters. Maybe you could carry one and use the removable filter when you’ve forgotten to bring your own filtered water. Here’s one company I know about: I’m not endorsing this brand because I haven’t tried it myself, and there are a lot of other filtered water bottles on the market now. Google is your friend. Just search on “stainless steel filter water bottle”. Hope this helps!

  4. Hilary says:

    I’d rather not buy plastic water bottles. But… but… but… the tap water here in Houston, Texas tastes like chlorine, metal, and chemicals. I literally have difficulty swallowing it. Houston is rated #6 in U.S. cities for the WORST tap water. Do you really think I ought to drink that, if I forgot to pack filtered water?

  5. Emily Grace says:

    Great post. It reminded me there was an in depth article on Fiji water in Mother Jones magazine last year.

    tag line: “Obama sips it. Paris Hilton loves it. Mary J. Blige won’t sing without it. How did a plastic water bottle, imported from a military dictatorship thousands of miles away, become the epitome of cool?”

  6. Clif says:

    Here’s an interesting tidbit re the price of tap water vs bottled water…

    My community, just north of Chicago, sucks in Lake Michigan water, just as Chicago does, for tap water. Inland communities can buy it from those of us lucky enough to sit on the lake.

    Chicago is charging $2.01 per 1,000 gallons to those who want to buy. That kinda puts the price of a bottle of water in perspective, doesn’t it? But my community offers a better deal to our neighbor communities of <94 cents per 1,000 gallons.

  7. Sue Lannin says:

    You are such an inspiration! Thank you for posting all three of these. I’m retweeting and Facebooking them! Images are powerful and I believe will help people realize the seriousness of the environmental challenges facing us.
    We all must move away from fossil fuels and plastic.
    Thanks for all you do!

  8. Taina Uitto says:

    “Bring your canvaaaas baaaags to the suuupermarkeet” is stuck in my head so bad! Aaaah! Very effective jingle, albeit a little unnecessary advice for me ;)
    .-= Taina Uitto´s last blog ..Not just marine life… =-.

  9. Clif says:

    Annie Leonard has the perfect delivery. Her voice is so light, lively and emphatic that you could listen without the animations and not become bored.

    As for the bags, the grocery stores are pushing reusable bags now – proof that the plastic bag is on the defensive.