It’s been said that what’s good for you is good for the planet. Using less plastic is a perfect example. Plastic products contain harmful chemicals that pollute our body, and when we’re done using them, those same products often end up polluting our environment. I’ve discussed ways to limit single-use plastic items, but repetition helps reinforce behavior change. Here are five documentaries that cover the environmental and human health impact of our excessive plastic use. Most of these are available to watch or rent on Netflix, Amazon, or iTunes, or you can purchase them through their respective websites for a small charge.
- Bag It (2010): This is my favorite film about plastic. It’s funny, yet educational. It provides a good overview of plastic, its impact on our health and the environment, as well as tips to reduce our use. The wife of the main character is pregnant during the filming, so it also looks into the effects that plastic can have on reproductive health.
- A Plastic Ocean (2016): As the title implies, this film mainly looks at the environmental impact that plastic has on our oceans and the animals that live within them. If you love the ocean, this film will speak to you.
- No Impact Man (2009): This film follows New York writer Colin Beavan and his family as they attempt to have “zero impact” on the environment. Although not perfect, and with some family challenges, this film provides numerous practical ways to reduce your carbon and plastic footprint.
- Trashed (2012): English actor Jeremy Irons gives a comprehensive look at the harmful effects of plastic, both for humans and the environment. The repercussions of plastic use, especially as it pertains to impoverished communities, is a heart-wrenching focus of this film.
- Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (2013): While covering a variety of issues surrounding plastic use, this film takes a closer look at trash gyres (garbage patches) in the Pacific Ocean and the impact they have on marine life. Again, for those ocean lovers, this one will leave a lasting impression.
It’s hard to make a film about the environmental impact of plastic without being pessimistic. However, all of these films offer simple, practical things you can do to reduce your plastic consumption – most of which, you can start doing today! So, next time it’s movie night, give one of these films a go. Who knows, you may find them so enlightening, you binge watch them all!