The Story of Plastic has been told time and again, however, this documentary asks you to stop and think about where plastic actually comes from and how not everything is recyclable as one might think. In fact, a very low percentage; it may shock you to know, only 14% is recycled and only 2% effectively into something that can be as useful as when it first started. From the time it burst onto the world as something new, innovative and magical that made our life so much easier, till today, this documentary puts a cohesive timeline on how we got to our current global plastic pollution crisis, and it didn't take long.
It also acknowledges that tackling the problem at the base level of cleanup is not the only or feasible solution. It has to be taken back to its root level, the start of its indestructible, yet destructive life; its production. The buck has to stop there. For conglomerates to be held responsible and taken to task. For governments to do more and hold plastic producers responsible.
This 89-minute documentary shot over three continents and directed by Deia Schlosberg is enjoying its Australian Premiere and reflects back to us, how we have been easily seduced into relying on plastic. It's such a well-oiled machine, that in lower socio-economic areas, adopting the plastic filled lifestyle of the more well to do countries is seen as gaining a little of that status, until it's too late. Soon that country has the same plastic problem as its more affluent counterpart, but without the resources to dispose of it.
It's painful to see how we dared to ship all our plastic rubbish abroad to countries like China, India and Indonesia for them to sort out, as it's painful to see fields full of garbage, mountains of trash, rivers and seas clogged with waste and skies choked with the poisonous runoff from plastic production and recycling processes with no end in sight. Never mind that the disastrous consequences are smothering our ecosystems, and poisoning communities around the world, our very health, life and the universe itself at stake.
By now we all know the consequences of plastics and this alarming man-made crisis of a world overrun with toxic material has to stop. If there's anything we need to take away from this documentary, it's that we need to do more. The wheels of change turning slowly is taking its toll and we as individuals need to take a good look at the presence of plastic in our own lives. That along with a call for producer responsibility and action at a governmental level combined hopefully turns the wheels a little faster.
Big companies profit from our buying the plastic they produce. We have the power to say no, enough is enough. We have the power to refuse to buy single-use, items, bags of little individual chips, throwaway mini plastic bottles of soy sauce, individual cereal pouches and so on. How well are we doing when there's still plastic in supermarkets, and now you're even made to pay for it to buy a slightly stronger reusable one that becomes unusable after a few uses. It's not going to be an easy change but our very lives and that of the universe depends on it.