The Indonesian Plastic Bag Diet

Plastics are treated as a product that
miraculously appears from nowhere and it goes to nowhere. It starts when the oil and the gas leave the wellhead. And it keeps on being a problem at
every stage along the way. Why is it that we are seeing so much
more plastics entering the environment? This is the story of plastics. I feel like I don’t know how to answer
anymore when people say, “why are you focusing on plastic? Why is plastic a
problem.” I mean, I feel like I should just take them here. And not say anything
just take them here for an hour and then see what they think. Whether they think
plastic bags are not a problem anymore. What makes me so depressed is that
you can’t undo this, can you? It’s not possible. The stratification of plastic bag layers have reached
four or five meters deep into the soil. There’s really no way
of extracting it. I think what’s most frustrating is that the industries
are out there pushing the idea that this is all because of bad management. But they’re distracting from the truth, which is that there is no way you can manage this waste. It’s not meant to be managed. It has absolutely no value, it can’t be
recycled. It’s not the communities and the people in rural areas that are uneducated and unwilling, it’s the industries that are not letting them become educated enough to be aware about this. These industries that we’re talking
about, they’re multinational corporations. They’re not just fast-moving consumer
goods industries, they are also plastic manufacturers. They’re not just plastic
manufacturers, they are also fossil fuel industries that provide the raw material
for plastic pellets. But what bothers me is that people tend to look at these
rivers and these polluted beaches and think, “somebody needs to come here and
clean it up.” That’s just completely wrong, because not only is it almost impossible
and ineffective but it’s really not the solution.
The solution is prevention. So, plastic bag robbery is one of our most popular campaigns. We band together a bunch of volunteers, we give everybody
reusable bags, and then we fan out into public places, into crowds. Whenever we
see somebody who’s carrying a plastic bag we come up to them and then we say, “we’re going to take your plastic bag,” “but we’re going to exchange it with this
reusable bag.” So, the point of that is the exchange really. There’s an interaction
that happens between the volunteer and the person who is carrying the plastic
bag, so immediately in their minds there’s a difference between something
that single-use and something that’s reusable. Whether they’re reusing it or
not, that’s a different story because it’s hard to compete with free plastic
bags. What’s incentivizing them to bring their
own bags? Nothing. There has to be a policy, because that’s the only way that
you can get massive scale lifestyle conversions, so it’s light
and it’s fun – is the first step to go and that’s how you get people interested and
that’s how you get people to think of what more we can do.


  1. Hit the dab like wiz khalifia

  2. I loathe plastic

  3. I'm loving this campaign!

  4. that plastic bag robbery was a good step.

  5. Went to Cairo in 2009, I was disgusted with the dredged plastic piled meters high from the ditches. ..eye opening…

  6. You have to use a cloth bag something like 10,000 times to make up for the extra energy and water used in making it over a plastic bag. You can buy kits to reconvert most plastics into a combustible fuel on the internet. That should be made into an industrial scale operation. Any plastics that cant be reconverted should be burned in plasma gasifiers for energy.

  7. I love hemp plastic

  8. What are the bags they're giving out made of? Looks very similar to polyester bags I've seen..

  9. The music is TOO LOUD, especially in the opening intro. In a documentary we need to hear the narration. This is a mistake made by many documentary makers. Use as your example the great work of Michael Moore and let us hear the words by toning the music down or get rid of it altogether. I hope you will correct this for the final version.

  10. I think that the plastic manufacturers should be paying for the mess that plastics make.

  11. Can we have this in spanish dubbing? I want to help

  12. We are conducting a local campaign to require that people pay for bags (as a plastic bag ban has been pre-empted in our state). I think this clip will be a strong addition to information we share.

  13. Plastic is a huge problem.

  14. Exceptional campaign! Keep up the fantastic work.

  15. This project is amazing but i don't have much hope considering how bad consumerism is and is spreading to developing countries like China and India. Our environment will just be a plastic wasteland until companies start using biodegradable options.

  16. Felt so good hearing that "There is no way we can manage plastic completely." I have been hearing it from so many people that plastic is a good product but mismanaged. But I wonder about the correct way of managing it.
    Good initiative. However, I believe that people don't value free things. That is how plastic went so mismanaged. Said that I completely respect the work as I know how difficult it is to convince people to ditch plastic bags

  17. Great stuff you're doing here! Thankyou

  18. I love the campaign, but are the bags that are exchanged just another form of plastic? Are the reusable bags made of bamboo or another form of natural fiber?

  19. Speak it Sister!

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