Everyday Activist - A Plastic Ocean (MLJFF 2017)

Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 10:00 PM

A Plastic Ocean (MLJFF 2017)

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

In many ways, A Plastic Ocean felt like a bigger budget Plastic Paradise. Both films talked about the dangers of plastic, but because the former film had more money, it could recruit more scientists, athletes and explorers to help tell the story, which I really didn't think was necessary. I felt Plastic Paradise had a more cohesive story line. However, I appreciated that A Plastic Ocean showed different solutions to deal with the plastic problem, making it feel more hopeful.

I wasn't aware of all the new technologies to deal with the plastic problem, so I was glad that the filmmakers showed that all over the world people had interesting ideas to recycle and reuse plastic as well as the bioremediation projects. Vetiver, a wonder plant, has many uses including to break down toxic substances. Other places created diesel with waste plastic, while the United States navy commissioned a efficient incinerator. Even in Haiti, a poor country, had a social enterprise based on recycled plastic.

While I thought adding the athletes and explorers came off as a bit pretentious, I liked the fact that they included the plight of the poor. The filmmakers showed how the vulnerable are affected by our lifestyle, emphasizing that we will share their fate if we don't change our ways. The counter showing how much plastic is made during the movie was disturbing because despite what we saw on the screen about the dangers of plastic, more and more resin was created to make more and more junk. People need to understand the impact plastic has, not just its convenience.

An issue that neither film touched on was how toxic plastic is to make. As someone who has worked in the plastic industry for years, I've always limited my use because making plastic involves nasty chemicals. I had isocynate poisoning twice, therefore a box of freezer bags will last for years in my house. The first “R” stands for REDUCE; then reuse and recycle. We all have to take responsibility where we can to minimize our ecological footprint.

A Plastic Ocean will screen at the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival 2017 on Friday, November 17th at 6:30 pm. There will be a post film discussion. If you can't make it, the documentary is also available on Netflix.


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.