On March 20, to draw attention to the human-befouled state of our oceans, a 60-foot catamaran called the Plastiki set sail from San Francisco on a voyage across the Pacific. The Plastiki's main source of buoyancy is thousands of disposable plastic water bottles. Which is a great example of the creative reuse of trash plastic, but it's symbolic of a much larger problem: In the U.S. alone, we use enough bottled water to float 4 million Plastikis every year.
What to do with billions of discarded plastic bottles is only one of the grave problems caused by America's thirst for packaged water. In an effort to wean consumers from the polyethylene teat, a new documentary called Tapped plumbs the many ill effects of the bottled water industry, from the dangers of the plastic additive BPA (which the EPA added to its list of chemicals of concern on March 29) to corporate takeovers of municipal water supplies. Occasional Indy contributor Cat Warren, an associate professor at N.C. State, appears in the film to discuss the drought of 2007–08, when a Pepsi bottling plant continued to draw hundreds of thousands of gallons of Raleigh water a day to bottle Aquafina while reservoirs ran dangerously low.
The screening will take place on Day 22 of a 33-day, 30-city tour by Tapped director Stephanie Soechtig and producer Sarah Olson. (They won't be able to make it to Raleigh on Monday, though—they'll be somewhere between New Orleans and Atlanta.) Film time is 7 p.m. at the Witherspoon Student Center, and it's free and open to the public. —Marc Maximov