The film ‘Plastic Shores’ examines the marine plastic debris problem

March 15th, 2012 by La Mode Verte

La Mode Verte Productions announces a new documentary ‘Plastic Shores‘, about the growing problem of plastic debris in the world’s oceans.

‘Plastic Shores’ investigates the irrevocable harm that single-use plastics do to the marine ecosystem and human health.

The film interviews well-known figures and experts including Roz Savage, Jean-Michel Cousteau and Congressman Sam Farr.

The United Nations Environment Programme will hold a special screening of ‘Plastic Shores’ during World Water Day on 22 March 2012 at the Goethe Institute in Brussels. The 60 minute film will be officially released in London in April 2012.

‘Plastic Shores’, by producer and director Ed Scott-Clarke, looks at the history of plastic. Plastics began as an ecological saviour. Billiard ball manufacturers in the late 1800s used the first plastic, celluloid, to reduce the need for unsustainably harvested ivory. Demand for plastics grew quickly.

The introduction of fossil fuels made plastics cheap, durable, mass-produced and disposable. That led to a problem.

‘Plastic Shores’ follows the 5th International Marine Debris Conference and its attendees, as they discuss the unfolding catastrophe of plastic waste in the marine environment. The conference took place in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Kamilo Point on the Big Island of Hawaii is one of the world’s beaches most heavily contaminated with plastic debris. The film covers the state of this shoreline and follows the story of the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, which attempts to stem the tide of plastic debris through regular cleanups of the area.

The film explores the varying causes of the plastic debris problem and covers the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the other vortices of oceanic plastic debris which occur in the North and South Pacific, the North and South Atlantic, and the Indian Ocean.

The film shifts attention to the picturesque beaches of the Cayman Islands, blighted by ocean-borne plastic debris that the country hasn’t produced.

Litter from shipping is responsible for around 20% of marine debris. On island nations such as the Cayman Islands, this percentage can be far higher.

The film covers the issue of marine plastic debris in the UK. Several beach cleanups are recorded by charities such as Surfers Against Sewage and the Marine Conservation Society who share their perspectives on trying to reduce this problem.

The documentary scrutinises how plastics affect marine life, and explains the difference between micro and macro plastics, and how microplastic causes chemical contamination of marine species. These chemical contaminants, which are either absorbed from the surrounding water (PCBs, DDT) or leached out of the plastic (BPA, phthalates), bioaccumulate in the food chain.

The documentary ends with what can and is being done to counter the effects of our disposable society.

Plastic bag bans, plastic bag taxes, fuel from plastics, compostable plastics, and recycling are examined and discussed in relation to their advantages and disadvantages.

 

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