A Plastic Ocean Shines Its Light

On a recent evening Los Angeles, A Plastic Ocean received standing acclaim at Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts Theater. You can now buy or rent A Plastic Ocean directly from the Plastic Oceans Foundation website. Proceeds go to further the foundation’s work.

A Plastic Ocean shares a social allegorical tale, following a documentary filmmaker and a world record free-diver as they discover the shocking impact that disposable plastic has had on our oceans, the earth’s ecosphere, and all forms of sea life. The dynamic duo investigate how plastic is ultimately impacting our food chain, becoming a serious health hazard to us all. In the course of their expeditions, these two adventurers activists, exposing the grave dangers of one of the biggest environmental crises that confronts humankind today.

Some thirty miles from its shore, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, where years of civil wars have kept the oceans and its beaches seemingly clean, a global expedition is been led by documentary filmmaker and director Craig Leeson. He is searching for one of the world’s most elusive animals, the pygmy blue whale. However, what he finds is tragically catastrophic.

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The shock of finding vast quantities of floating plastic in its isolated location forces the filmmaker to investigate: If plastic is lurking in this remote pristine area, what is happening in oceans around the globe? So begins an odyssey. Teams of international scientists engages to analyze and report on the expedition’s findings. Now joined by free-diver Tanya Streeter, Leeson journey on to discover the true impact and consequences of our disposable, dystopic lifestyle.

A Plastic Ocean was filmed in over 20 locations around the world. The film also showcases solutions, both policies and technologies, that if implemented can begin to consciously change one of humankind’s most destructive inventions.

Plastic is indestructible and this year alone human beings will have manufactured 300 million tons of it, half of which will be used only just once before being discarded forever into our oceans. The message from this film is that change is possible, and this urgent change must first begin with us.

As Leeson explained in a recent interview, “Plastic is a man-made substance. It isn’t supposed to be in the environment and the environment has no way of dealing with it. The ecological balance of the biosphere we live in has been developed over millennia and sustains us. But we are throwing this machinery off balance. We seem to have a collective view that Earth’s resources are infinite. But the reality is we live on an island and we are using up those resources faster than is sustainable. In doing so, we are polluting and poisoning our biosphere.”

Few of us are taught that our oceans keep us alive. As Dr. Sylvia Earle says in A Plastic Ocean, “Without the blue there is no green.” Our weather systems, oxygen, clean water, food sources, and medicines come from the oceans or are sustained by them. Yet we know more about the moon than we do about what’s beneath the waves. We are the only species that knowingly and willing pollutes our food and water sources. If we do not move to a sustainable lifestyle, there will be nothing left for future generations.

After the film premiered, a list of distinguished panelists offered solutions and constructive approaches. They included: Ed Begley Jr., actor and activist; Katie Allen, Algalita Marine Research; Anna Cummins, 5 Gyres; Jordan Howard, environmental activist and 2015 Women in Green Youth Trailblazer; Christie Keith, GAIA; and Terrance Smith, student, Pullum Community Arts Center

The screening was hosted by the Plastic Pollution Coalition, with its many conscientious sponsors joining in alliance with the Plastic Oceans Foundation including 5 Gyres, Algalita, Blue Mind (Wallace J. Nichols), Lonely Whale Foundation, Heal The Bay, Environmental Media Awards, Team Marine, Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center, US Green Building Council-Los Angeles Chapter, and The Bay Foundation.

Great names and faces also attended its event, including the legendary guitarist and member of U2, Dave Evans aka The Edge.

Video produced by Rick Meghiddo.

Top photo by Phantom Street Artist: producer Adam Leipzig, The Edge, and Plastic Pollution Coalition Dianna Cohen. To see more photos of the event, go here.

Plastic Oceans Foundation is an international charitable organization that aims to change the world’s attitude to plastic in a single generation and their film – A Plastic Ocean is the catalyst for that its cause fueled by its belief for change.

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