While everyone’s going nuts about Disney’s Earth (which I fully intend to see), I want to tell you about another film that readers of Fake Plastic Fish should not miss.
Back in January, I had the opportunity to see an amazing film by Ian Connacher called Addicted to Plastic. It’s not showing in any mainstream movie theaters, although it is making the rounds of some environmental film festivals. And until recently, you couldn’t buy the DVD for less than $295. The price and lack of availability were the reasons I waited to review the film here. But now it’s available via Amazon.com for much less (and if you purchase via this site, I receive a small commission to support my plastic-free endeavors).
Addicted to Plastic is the result of three years of filming in 12 countries on 5 continents, including trips to the North Pacific Gyre with the Algalita crew… the area that has become a plastic soup bigger than the state of Texas. It starts with Ian waking up one morning and noticing all the plastic items in his house, from his alarm clock and mattress to this clothing and kitchenware. He wonders if all this plastic is safe and what can be done about it.
The film provides a history of plastic and includes interviews with several scientists studying toxicity issues such as BPA, phthalates, and antimony. There is also an interview with a plastics industry spokesperson who would be funny if he weren’t so freakin’ scary. Ian goes on to visit and interview entrepreneurs in the fields of recycling and bioplastics who are working to find solutions to our plastics problems.
But some of these “solutions” are just as frightening as the problems themselves. My husband Michael, asleep on the sofa while I watched the film, woke up suddenly and gasped, “Did she just say what I think she said?” during an interview with a Patagonia representative who bragged that the company now makes jackets out of all kinds of recycled plastic, including vinyl shower curtains. Um… yeah… I really wanna wear PVC on my body!
So the one criticism I have of this film is the insistence that technology will save us from our plastic mess and the film’s lack of emphasis on personal choice and responsibility. That said, Addicted to Plastic is full of important information and covers a huge range of plastics issues. It’s well worth seeing and showing to your friends. It’s a opening for discussion rather than a final answer, so leave time afterwards for conversation!
And if you have already had a chance to see this film, as I know some readers in Canada have, please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts about it.