There is a diverse selection of films here, plastic is a diverse subject. We have included films on the oil industry, as Big Oil and Big Plastic are made up of the same companies.
If you know of any good films or series that are not on this list, please let us know.
'Plastic pollution is everywhere we look, smothering our oceans and poisoning communities around the world. Meanwhile, Big Plastic only plans to expand production. We need to chart a different course.
From city streets to the arctic ice sheets, plastic pollution has reached every corner of the globe. But it’s not just the plastic we can see; tiny particles of plastic called microplastics are showing up in our water, our food, even the air we breath. This flood of plastic is poisoning communities and smothering our environment, threatening whole ecosystems.
This isn’t a waste management problem; it’s an unmanageable problem. There is simply too much plastic being created, and nowhere for it to end up besides in landfills, in the environment, or being openly burned. Indeed, only 9% of the plastic ever created has been recycled.
Despite this mounting crisis, big industry plans to keep producing more and more plastic each year. Big Plastic and its allies are investing billions to expand production capacity, with a planned 33% increase in the production of plastic’s chemical ingredients by 2025.
Meanwhile, the United Nations estimates that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the ocean. We’re even learning that plastic contributes to global warming when it degrades in the environment. If we don’t change course – and soon – we face a future in which the consequences of our plastic addition will only grow more severe.'
This is an excellent documentary. We are providing free community screenings. If you or an organisation you're in would like to see it, please contact us.
The spotlight on plastic pollution has brought to light many problems with synthetic chemicals. 'Dark Waters' tells the true story of a case brought by a small farmer in an American town against Du Pont, for poisoning the land and water, and in turn killing the cows on his farm.
'FRONTLINE investigates what is really been happening with our ever-growing mountains of plastic waste, what industry insider knew about the environmental and public health problems of plastic, and when they knew it. This documentary examines the industry’s role in shaping a system that has never worked as advertised, and the decades-long effort to keep a highly profitable secret alive: recycling hasn’t kept plastic out of the environment or the oceans. It has just sold more plastic.' - PBS
Coca Cola were the first company to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme using glass bottles. They ignored the environmental benefits of using glass bottles to introduce cheaper, more profitable, toxic, polluting plastic bottles. This documentary uncovers the truth about Coca Cola's use of plastic, how they have lobbied against measures that would reduce plastic pollution, and empty promises of achieving better over decades. Coca Cola sell 120 billion plastic bottles a year! That's about 4,000 per second! Do they have any care for the environment or for us?
'An original investigative report by Earth Focus and UK's Ecologist Film Unit looks at the risks of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale. From toxic chemicals in drinking water to unregulated interstate dumping of potentially radioactive waste that experts fear can contaminate water supplies in major population centers including New York City, are the health consequences worth the economic gains?'
- Films For Action.
Another film, this time a documentary, on the large class action lawsuit taken against Du Pont for poisoning the environment of a West Virginia town with Teflon.
'From styrofoam cups to artificial organs, plastics are perhaps the most ubiquitous and versatile material ever invented. For better and for worse, no ecosystem or aspect of human activity has escaped the shrink-wrapped grasp of plastic. Addicted To Plastic is a global journey to investigate what we really know about the material of a thousand uses, why there’s so much of it and what we can do about it. On the way we discover a toxic legacy, and the men and women dedicated to cleaning it up.'
- Bullfrog Films.
This documentary 'reveals the unsafe conditions in which adults and children alike toil, as they seek to eke out a basic living by processing toxic plastic waste products that they know are polluting their rivers and lakes, contaminating the air that they breathe, and compromising their health in noticeably painful ways. The film exposes not only a disparity between Western lifestyles of consumption and those who deal with the concomitant waste, but also in the hierarchical structure of facility owners and the workers they employ for low compensation in unhealthy and sometimes abusive environments.' - Docuseek.
'From the plastic production to the ocean in which so many of these bottles end up, this inspiring documentary trails the path of the bottled water industry and the communities which were the unwitting chips on the table. A powerful portrait of the lives affected by the bottled water industry, this revelatory film features those caught at the intersection of big business and the public's right to water.' - Docuseek
'Thousands of miles away from civilization, Midway Atoll is in one of the most remote places on earth. And yet it's become ground zero for The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, syphoning plastics from three distant continents. In this independent documentary film, journalist/filmmaker Angela Sun travels on a personal journey of discovery to uncover this mysterious phenomenon. Along the way she meets scientists, researchers, influencers, and volunteers who shed light on the effects of our rabid plastic consumption and learns the problem is more insidious than we could have ever imagined.' - Docuseek
'An intimate account of a first-hand journey aboard the Sea Dragon with the 5 Gyres Institute on the very first scientific expedition, focused on plastic waste, through the centre of the South Atlantic Ocean. An eye-opening story about the institute's global mission to study the effects, reality, and scale of plastic pollution around the world.' - Films For Action
'Endocrine disruptors are all around us - in plastic, in cans, in the water we drink, in the food we eat. They're not supposed to enter our bodies, but they do. If they're proven to cause weight gain, the implications for human health are profound. Now, scientists are going beyond animal research to human population studies, testing the theory that fetal exposure to man-made chemicals is a key reason for our global obesity epidemic and making a strong argument for the adoption of the precautionary principle to regulate the introduction of new man-made chemicals.' - Docuseek
'According to the World Health Organization, the incidence of cancer has doubled over the last thirty years (after allowing for the population aging factor). Over this period, the increase in leukemia and brain tumors in children has been around 2% per year. The WHO has observed a similar trend for neurological diseases (Parkinson's and Alzheimer's) and autoimmune disorders, and for reproduction dysfunctions. What explanations can be found for this worrying epidemic, which is hitting the 'developed' countries particularly hard? Haunted by that question, director Marie-Monique Robin launches an in-depth investigation into everyday products and the system charged with regulating them. Robin digs through the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) archives, manages to talk her way into secret meetings, and meets with regulators and respected renegade researchers throughout North American and Europe.' - Docuseek