Plastics In Our Environment

I have found that raising any type of TRUE meaningful social awareness  regarding the need to protect and conserve our earth's natural resources is very very hard, if not impossible    This has been my life's journey from my university studies (Ohio State University, MS & BS Natural Resources) 1988 to present.   Finding a way to devote one's time and efforts towards environmental issues that will finance a rent, mortgage, food, utilities auto expenses etc has always been impossible.   At this point in our earth's history it is a few handful of dedicated individuals who have stepped outside the safety of a "mainstream" career to attempt to bring attention to important issues.       



The Movie:   Plastics Paradise --The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Writer, director and acting protagonist Angela Sun has a vested interest in the discovery of plastic’s true impact on the environment and human health.  From the film's alarming introduction to its startling realizations, Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch provides some much-needed factual exposure of the environmental impact of plastics and a first-hand glimpse of the continent of trash collecting in the south Pacific gyre currents. 

Sun takes on the roles of investigator, educator, reporter and narrator throughout Plastic Paradise, meeting with field experts in remote areas most affected, such as Midway Atoll in the south Pacific. There, she finds piles of deposited plastic from all over the world that has collected on Midway’s shores, and starts asking important questions: Where is all the plastic coming from? Why does it keep coming? How is it affecting the marine, terrestrial or avian environment? How is it affecting… us? 

Sun takes us along on her trip around the world collecting witness’ accounts of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, from U.S. Fish and Wildlife representatives to the man credited with its discovery, Capt. Charles Moore, while also providing a history lesson on our plastics obsession as an industrialized nation. This film is not for the faint-of-heart, as Plastic Paradise frequently presents disturbing images to its audience, including Midway Albatross birds being dissected to reveal plastics in their stomachs and the equally sickening ignorance of members of the plastic industry. All in all, once you forgive the film for stealing your own umbrella of ignorance during the downpour of guilt that is Pacific Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, you will thank Angela Sun for her effort in bringing this reality to light.

As is with any environmental issue there is no one immediate answer.    I have often thought, if you really break it down, the only true impact that most human beings can have on the legacy of this planet is to recycle.  The concept of Reducing , Reusing and Recycling along with education is probably our only way to work towards saving our planet.  It will take a long time, probably not in my lifetime,  but progress creeps forward..  To quote the great American anthropologist Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people can make a difference.   In fact, its the only thing that ever has".


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