REVIEW: The Story of Plastic

The Story of Plastic Review

The Story of Plastic is an enlightening documentary that has been running as part of the Sheffield Doc Fest 2020 line-up.

The documentary takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it. Spanning three continents, the film illustrates the ongoing catastrophe: fields full of garbage, veritable mountains of trash, rivers and seas clogged with waste, and skies choked with the poisonous emissions from plastic production and processing.

Featuring interviews with experts and activists, the film reveals the consequences of our obsession with plastic. It calls on mega corporations to start playing their part in the problem, highlighting that the responsibility should not be on the individual or even the local councils who set up recycling schemes.

Breaking the issues down through both a global and historical lens, it’s an easy to access and understand doc with a clever combination of animation, archival footage and interview. Statistics such as ‘half of all plastic was made in the past 15 years’ are sure to shock, as should the investigation into how international companies treat the various different markets they trade in.

The film is a good reminder of the issues currently faced for those who are already interested in the world of plastic pollution but also serves as an easy way to dip your toe in to the plastic ocean if some of the content is new to you. It could come off as a little dull to someone with no interest in world conservation or ethical trading, however it’s an important story that should be seen far and wide. It’s the kind of film I would hope to see shown in schools in future as it’s must see education on a problem that’s going nowhere.

If you want to find out more about the issues within the film, check out storyofplastic.org and breakfreefromplastic.org.

Clare Brunton

Ex film teacher and frequent couch potato. I try and see at least one new release a week, but I've somehow got to 30 without having seen The Godfather?