Plastic Planet {Friday Film Fest}

Plastic Planet film review

Plastic Planet’s director and producer Werner Boote shows us his journey across the globe to discover answers to his plastics questions.  As a young boy, he was introduced to plastics earlier than most.  His grandfather was one of the early manufacturers of plastic in Germany.  Werner now wonders what exactly is in plastic and is it harmful.  These are questions he poses to many world experts and lay people around the world.

What is in plastic?  No one knows.  It’s proprietary.  I didn’t know that. Even the manufacturer of a beverage cannot know exactly what the bottle of their beverage contains.

In an eye-opening exercise, he asks several people to empty their houses of everything that contains plastic.  Although the amounts vary, every person is surprised at the amount of plastic in their homes.  Even the hut in India contains plastic.

Werner interviews several people from Europe.  It was interesting for me to see that Europe deals with the plastic problem just as America does.   It was very interesting and disturbing at the same time to see mostly non-US citizens, companies and the like talk about  (or deny as the case may be) the problems with plastics.  I am so used to seeing US companies driving the “you don’t need to know, it’s OK trust us” train.  I am not sure if I feel better or worse knowing it’s happening in Europe too.

Honestly, I found Bag It more interesting and relate-able.  And, I dislike admitting this, but the subtitles and heavy accents of some of the interviewees made it a little difficult for me to follow the film in certain spots.  I had to concentrate on understanding the words that I might have missed the meaning.  I sound like an entitled American.  Certainly not what I mean, but that is how I felt.

Have you seen Plastic Planet?

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2 Responses to Plastic Planet {Friday Film Fest}

  1. CelloMom September 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    I confess this is the first of your Friday Films that I’ve seen, and it’s been a jolt of a start. I haven’t yet had such a strong impression of how pervasive the presence of plastic is, all over the planet.

    I find Werner Boote a personable narrator who doesn’t dress up anything or anyone in front of the camera. His interviewees are real people. You can see that some scientists keep messy labs. You can see how some plastics executives would be fantastic grandparents. You, as the viewer, will have to listen for yourself to what they say, and draw your own conclusions.

    I am surprised – shocked really – that the research on plastics in Europe is on the same level as it is here in the US, practically non-existent at the level of the governments that are generally trusted to do the right thing.

    I’m gratified that the film included a segment on the use of plastics in car interiors. Since I’m the one whose friends can be identified by their open car windows, summer or winter.

    For me, one of the most memorable moments was the scene where the Italian lawyer says that he feels qualified to represent a sickened plastic worker against the plastics industry, because of his prior experience in delicate cases involving weapons deliveries to belligerent regimes. Just so we know what we’re up against. Certainly the industry seems to have the financial fire power to keep anyone from stopping them pumping out more of the stuff.

    In the end I’m with the scientists who say (what else?) that knowledge is power, and that we as consumers need to inform ourselves, and use our knowledge in our choices. If we don’t buy the Tupperware, the plastic toys, and all the rest of it, it will eventually stop being produced.

    • Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) September 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

      Thank you so much CelloMom for adding your input! You sum it up perfectly! Yes, knowledge is power. I find it so frustrating that this knowledge does not get out to people, that it is hidden by big corporations using their millions of dollars.

      Very good point about the Italian lawyer! I think I have become so used to corporations using their power and money, acting like “belligerent regimes” that it didn’t really hit me when he said it.

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