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Jun 24 13

Using the Red Bag in the Classroom

by admin

still 3“The Red Bag” is a great way to have kids think about a problem, form an opinion, and express it clearly in writing, and it’s a great way to think about our watersheds and how to protect them.

Here’s an example of using “The Red Bag” in the classroom. As part of the “Common Core State Standards with California Additions – Planning ELD Instruction: Third Grade,” “The Red Bag” can be shown and then used as an opportunity to write an opinion piece:


Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
1. Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.
2. Provide reasons that support the opinion.
3. Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, therefore,
since, for example) to connect opinion and reasons.
4. Provide a concluding statement or section.

Apr 25 13

Plastic Bag Ban Reaches Restaurants in Santa Cruz

by admin

photoCongratulations to Santa Cruz County, which on Earth Day (April 22, 2013) became the second place in California to ban plastic bags for take-out food. Check out the Santa Cruz Sentinel’s report for more details!

Mar 18 13

Getting a Grip on the Plastic Bag Problem

by admin

photo grip plastic bagWith Earth Day coming up, here is a link for teachers to a lesson that gets students thinking about the amount of plastics in their home, class, city, state, and the whole of United States.  It’s math put to good use.  The lesson goes on to imagining plastic and its effects on wildlife and in the North Pacific Gyre (The Great Pacific Garbage Patch).  Thanks to the Earth Day Network for a lesson that fits perfectly with “The Red Bag.”

Dec 11 12

Recycled Holiday Art!

by admin

Here’s a challenge for you followers of the Red Bag: enter Surfrider Foundation’s Trashy Holidays contest!

Before December 21st, make a beach litter-themed holiday ornament and post a picture of it up on Instagram with the hashtag #trashyholidays. There are several entries already that you can view on Instagram. The grand prize is a new Firewire surfboard!

Sep 15 12

Plastic Bag Bans in the News

by admin

Tie it, don't fly it!

After the City of Santa Cruz banned single-use plastic bags this past July, a lobbying group representing plastic bag manufacturers has filed a suit challenging the ban. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that:

Stephen L. Joseph, lawyer for the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, filed suit last month in Santa Cruz County Superior Court, seeking a repeal of the ordinance passed in July. He said the city didn’t undertake sufficient environmental review of the potential impacts and, by exempting restaurants, has overstepped state law governing carry-out bags for food establishments.

The same lobbying group tried and failed to repeal a similar ban in Manhattan Beach, CA, last year. See the Sentinel item linked above for more information.

In related news, Santa Cruz County plans to revisit whether or not to include restaurants in the county’s plastic bag ban.

The county Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hold a public hearing on September 25 on reinstating a ban on plastic bags for takeout food. The original proposed law that went into effect back in March included restaurant bags, but that was removed during settlement negotiations to help resolve a lawsuit.

“The action we took almost a year ago was, in my view, a complete solution, and we backed off under threat of litigation,” said county Supervisor Mark Stone, author of the bag ban. ”I think it’s time to complete that action that we started.”

Here’s some good news from Illinois: plastic bag lobbyists tried to get legislation passed earlier this year that would have prevented cities and towns in Illinois from banning plastic bags and imposing fees on their use, but thanks to an enterprising and tenacious teenager named Abby Goldberg, Governor Pat Quinn vetoed it. Read the Chicago Tribune’s report here.

And here’s a terrific website to explore, bookmark, and come back to: The Plastic Bag Ban Report! Regularly updated by Atlanta businessman Ted Duboise, the site gathers reliable information on plastic bag bans worldwide, from Australia to Wales. Here’s California’s page.

Mar 30 12

Plastic Bag Bans

by admin

Do the Bye-Bye-Plastic-Bag Dance!

Congratulations to Santa Cruz County, which is the first government entity in the Monterey Bay area and the 13th in the State of California to ban single-use plastic bags. Thanks to the residents of Santa Cruz County and our government officials for making this enlightened choice.

Plastic bag bans are spreading fast throughout the state of California: click here for an extensive list compiled by Californians Against Waste. The grassroots-run website has information on current and pending legislation and litigation in municipalities all over the world (though they concentrate on California), including a link to this fantastic interactive map that Chicobag has been maintaining. Also from Chicobag comes the Bag Monster® Blog, whose mascot is a man covered with 500 plastic bags (the average number of plastic bags used per capita per year in the US). The blog has current reporting and video (often very amusing).

Mar 28 12

The Red Bag: Where Has It Flown?

by admin

Follow that bag!

Since its release in late 2010, The Red Bag has floated and flown through a variety of cultural and educational watersheds:

• Selection at EarthVision Film Festival 2011

• Sonoma County: About 10,000 students and around 500 teachers and teacher aids have seen the video, courtesy of the Sonoma County Water Agency, who bought several hundred copies of the DVD.

• Santa Cruz County: purchased 1,500 copies for use in county education programs and their move to outlaw single use plastic bags

• Solano County: being aired on their local cable channel and used in Solano County Water Program classroom outreach programs

• Marin County: shown to hundreds of students every day when they take the tour of the Marin County Sanitary Services recycling facility

Sep 21 10

Screen Shots

by admin

Sep 20 10

Production Stills

by admin

Here are a selection of production stills that show how much fun was had making this film. Click on each photo to embiggen.

Stephan with fishing line, Colin with blower ready to bring plastic bag to life, while Peter and Ed shoot.

Peter and Ed shoot, while Colin blows plastic bag.

Colin climbs tree to rescue plastic bag.

Garbage band dancing around recycle bin.

Colin, knee deep in the river, waits to launch plastic bag.