The Daily Northwestern

Film screening event to address shopping bag debate in Evanston

Karen Chen

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In light of the debate on reducing shopping bag waste in Evanston, the Unitarian Church of Evanston will screen the environmental documentary “Bag It” on June 3.

The film will be shown at the church, 1330 Ridge Ave., as part of its Social Action Film series at 7 p.m. Michael Drennan, a Citizens’ Greener Evanston board member, will follow the screening with the keynote speech.

The screening follows a community meeting Tuesday where residents voiced a diverse array of reactions to a bag ban or tax. The film features Jeb Berrier as he follows the creation and cultural dependence on plastic and what ramifications its uncontrolled use has on nature.

Eileen Wiviott, the church’s social action coordinator, said she organized the event in an effort to help promote awareness of the ecological gravity of bag use and try to educate the public into understanding why behaviors need to change.

“I hope that it gets people thinking about what these bags come from and where they go and if we can get people at least a little bit motivated to try to reduce their use,” Wiviott said.

Education and outreach was one of the key topics mentioned in the community discussion about how Evanston should implement a bag reduction plan at the city meeting.

Wiviott said she would support a bag ban, and while she recognized that it would be inconvenient at first, every little step to help the environment is well worth it.

“It’s something that is so ubiquitous,” she said. “If we could be more aware of what the impact is, it might help reduce our use.”

“Bag It” was mentioned at yesterday’s meeting, and invitations for the June screening were passed out to interested attendees.

The documentary was shown at Northwestern last month as part of the Bagless NU initiative, which hopes to eliminate bag use on campus.

“It’s about getting people to realize that something seemingly trivial is actually really bad for the environment, and it’s one of the easiest things for us to change,” said Elizabeth Miller, a Communication junior and member of Bagless NU.