A Plastic Ocean - Must-See Film Out Now
by A Plastic Ocean
2 February 2017
Most of us have heard of the five gyres, or islands of trash, in our oceans. So the rest of the ocean, outside of these gyres, are clear and clean? Alas, no. The world’s oceans are crammed with discarded plastic waste particles—literally everywhere—which are destroying the environment, killing wildlife and ultimately, threatening human health.
Currently eight million tons of plastic waste ends up in the ocean every year and it is estimated that 10 times more plastic per year will be dumped into the ocean by 2025. We continue to use over 300 million tons of new plastic every year. Half of this we use just once, and usually for less than 12 minutes.
Craig Leeson sits amidst landfill
Plastic pollution—the focus of a new documentary called A Plastic Ocean, now available through iTunes (currently only in the US, UK, Canada, Ireland & Australia)—is a global crisis so serious that if it not halted now, future generations will face a cataclysmic environmental disaster which may prove impossible to solve.
“The most important film of our time,” states Sir David Attenborough.
The origins of the film began when Producer Jo Ruxton, and founder of Plastic Oceans Foundation, joined an expedition to the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the North Pacific Gyre, 1500 miles off the coast of San Francisco, to establish its impact. When the expedition discovered invisible, free-floating micro plastics instead of an anticipated solid mass that could be contained, Jo knew she had to begin the film that would become A Plastic Ocean and extensive research commenced.
Jo partnered with director, journalist and explorer Craig Leeson, and they, in turn, engaged many scientists and world-record free diver Tanya Streeter. Together they set off on what would be a four-year global odyssey to explore the issue of plastics in our oceans and its effect on marine ecosystems and human health, including endocrine disruption.
So what goes on in the world’s oceans? Plastic breaks up into small particles, known as micro plastics, mixing with the plankton at the ocean surface. Plankton is at the heart of the food chain, and provides us with more than half the oxygen we breathe. The ocean is also the world’s largest source of protein. Since we cannot yet safely remove micro plastics from plankton that lives in the ocean, plastic needs to be stopped from reaching the ocean.
Plastic Oceans Foundation is an international charitable organisation that aims to change the world’s attitude to plastic in a single generation, and to that end, the Foundation produced A Plastic Ocean to spread the message around the world, about the impact of plastic on our oceans and human health.
Plastic pollution is a global issue and Plastic Oceans Foundation—through the power of film and partnerships with local community organizations—is helping consumers to become plastic literate, so they can make informed decisions about how and when they accept and manage plastic. The goal is to help shape future demand for environmentally sensitive products and solutions.
The film is produced by Jo Ruxton (Blue Planet), and by Adam Leipzig, who was responsible for the global hit March of the Penguins.
It is not possible to throw plastic away. As Sir David Attenborough says: “There is no away – because plastic is so permanent and so indestructible. When you cast it into the ocean, there is no away.”
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