The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

April 21, 2009

Addicted to Plastic – Must-see film not made by Disney

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 PlasticAddicted 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.


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13 years ago

Just a comment about “Earth”… It’s weird how it’s all of a sudden a Disney movie! It was playing in the UK when I was there in 2006, then I actually saw it at a film fest in New Zealand in 2007. In both cases it was unaffiliated with Disney and was narrated by Patrick Stewart! When I asked them about it in the UK, they said that there would be no US theatrical release… I guess we get the Disneyfied version over here! Maybe British accents are just too much for the American public? I really don’t get it? Does anyone know what’s up with that? (Sorry… maybe a little bit unrelated to this blog!!)

Beth Terry
13 years ago

Wow! Eco Yogini. This is a new development. That order page is brand new. For months, the only way to order in the U.S. was through Bullfrog films for a very high price.

Even still, the Earth Cinema Circle DVD costs less and contains 3 additional films. Plus, the packaging is 100% biodegradable.

Eco Yogini
13 years ago

This looks awesome- it was on the cbc in January and I’m sad I missed it (although we don’t own a tv… so perhaps that would have been tricky).
Checking out their site, it’s only the educational purposes dvd that was so much money, the personal use one is currently 29.99$ American, and as of May 26th will be 25.99$ Canadian through Amazon. :)

I also really want to see Flow and TAPPED :) Thanks Farmer’s Daughter for warning me in advance, I cry at EVERYTHING… lol.

13 years ago

Thank you so much for all the information you post. It keeps me inspired and educates me.

Michelle Heffner
13 years ago

Oh neat! I just got my first DVD’s last week after reading your recommendations. I am excited!!

13 years ago

I’m helping with my employer’s Take Our Children To Work day events and they asked me to speak for 10 minutes about environmental issues. Do you happen to know of any online resources about plastic that I could print and give to the kids?

Farmer's Daughter
13 years ago

I bought the film after seeing it on the AP Environmental Science list serve I subscribe to. If all the teachers were raving about it, I figured it was a good one. It’s really great and I highly recommend it.

I’d also like to recommend “FLOW: For Love of Water.” I cried during that movie like 3 or 4 times.