We’ve all noticed the global movement to reduce the use of plastics but eliminating plastics entirely seems impossible. Plastics – man made materials in every form – can be found in all aspects of our lives. So, why should we pay attention and learn what it’s doing to our health? Why do we need to do what we can beyond just bringing reusable bags to the grocery store? This eye-opening documentary Plastic People: The Hidden Crisis of Microplastics is worth watching.

In a world where over 1.5 billion plastic bottles are bought worldwide every day and two million plastic bags are used every minute, Plastic People delves into the devastating impact of plastic pollution. The film reveals how almost every bit of plastic ever made breaks down into microscopic particles which permeate our environment, from the air we breathe, to the water we drink, and the food we eat.

Plastic People takes a personal approach, led by acclaimed author and science journalist Ziya Tong, who undergoes experiments in her home and within her body, to shed light on the pervasive presence of microplastics. Director Ben Addelman emphasizes the urgency of the film’s message, stating, “The subject of microplastics is shockingly urgent. We have created a film that rises to the level of this critical issue.”

Ziya Tong further emphasizes the importance of revealing the connection between planetary health and human health, stating, ” Plastic People aims to make the invisible, visible.”

Rick Smith adds, “There are great leaders and organizations around the world working every day to solve the plastic pollution crisis. Many of them are excited to use Plastic People, and the new information it contains, in their efforts.”

With a commitment to entertainment and education, the filmmakers have created a documentary that not only informs but also inspires action. Plastic People seeks to motivate audiences to address the pressing issue of plastic pollution and advocate for solutions.

The Documentary’s IMPACT CAMPAIGN

As part of the commitment to facilitate a conversation shift from thinking of microplastics as only an environmental concern but also an urgent health issue, Plastic People is developing an IMPACT CAMPAIGN in support of the film. Working closely with a number of partners (16 currently) at local, national and international levels, the impact team will execute a solution-based program that will include a number of events, education materials, as well as calls to action as the film is released to audiences in Canada and around the world. The goal of this campaign is to empower viewers with knowledge and encourage positive change.

The goal is to motivate people to action, not to fear. ~ Ziya Tong

Goals of the Impact Campaign

Awareness – MicroPlastics isn’t just about the health of the planet, it’s about our health too. Look to shift the conversation into the healthcare space.

Regulation – A global Plastics Treaty is being created right now. This film is coming out at a crucial time to help influence policymakers about microplastics and human health concerns and activate audiences to encourage their leaders to make vital commitments to protect us and our children.

Citizen Action – Provide people with information about how to limit exposure to plastics, make better choices as consumers and how to help educate others about microplastics in their daily lives.

Here’s a link to the film’s website and where you can also learn more on how you can take-action: https://plasticpeopledoc.com/takeaction/

plastic people - documentary

Plastic People Documentary’s Upcoming Screenings in Canada:

  • May 22 – Hamilton – The Playhouse Theatre
  • May 22 – Guelph – Bookshelf Cinema
  • May 22 – Vancouver – Rio Theatre
  • May 24 – Vancouver – Lochmaddy Studio Theatre
  • May 25 – Vancouver – Vancity Theatre
  • May 25 – Vancouver – Rio Theatre
  • May 26 – Vancouver – Lochmaddy Studio Theatre
  • May 28 – Toronto – The Royal Theatre
  • May 29 – Vancouver – Lochmaddy Studio Theatre
  • June 1 – Toronto – Hot Docs Cinema
  • June 2 – Toronto – The Revue
  • June 11 – Toronto – Hot Docs Cinema

Some interesting facts…

WWII brought modern plastic to the world…during the war, plastics production rose on the  order of 300 to 400 percent (Susan Frienkel, Author, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story)

In the 1950s, the plastics industry invented the concept of single-use plastics with the mantra “the future of plastics is in the trash can.” A near-infinite new market for plastics was born (Susan Frienkel, Author, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story

The plastic industry developed the famous “chasing arrows” logo meant to show consumers how to recycle. In fact, most plastic is not recyclable. Less than 10% of plastic worldwide ever gets recycled. Most of it either ends up in landfill or out in the environment (Susan Frienkel, Author, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story

Microplastics have become part of our planetary cycles – they are in atmospheric currents, the water cycle, and the carbon cycle (Chelsea Rochman, PhD; Ecologist, University of Toronto)

Every molecule of plastic ever created still exists somewhere on Earth, in some stage of degradation. It never goes away – it just degrades from big to small to microscopic, forever (Rick Smith, PhD; Co-Author, Slow Death by Rubber Duck)

Microplastics are eaten by every level of the food chain (Plastic Soup Foundation, 2023)

Microplastics have been found throughout the human body. In feces, placentas, lungs, and even our blood (The Guardian, 2022)