Addicted to Plastic: The Rise and Demise of a Modern Miracle (2007)

From flip-flops to footballs, water bottles to wastebaskets, plastic is everywhere in our world, and Ian Connacher's documentary confronts this daunting ubiquity head on. As he rises from his bed in the morning and the camera follows him into the shower, text pops up on the screen next to every plastic product he encounters. It's typical of his thoroughness and his wit, twin traits that lift this film out of the ordinary.
Sensibly alarmed and endlessly curious about plastic, Connacher trudges from time zone to time zone in search of answers. What does it do to our oceans? He observes maritime researchers tracking, counting and scooping a shocking amount of plastic from the most isolated regions of the sea. Where does our plastic waste go? It's off to India, just one of North America's offload destinations, where we see appalling overflow and some innovative solutions. What are some alternatives? We visit a manufacturer of "bioplastic," a more organic, more degradable option. So it goes, a scrupulous, adventurous trip through the history, economics, ecology and science of this infinitely problematic substance. This is no shrill rallying cry; Connacher keeps a level head through all the depressing environmental statistics and the endless pile-up of packed landfills. He's not out to inflame but to inform, and on that level Addicted to Plastic is most impressive.
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