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Plastic Paradise: the great Pacific garbage patch

Malia Broglie | Journalism

Plastics and discarded nylon fishing nets choke out livable habitat for marine life. Photo courtesy of TakePart.

In a vast land in the middle of the Pacific ocean rests an island home to albatross and plastic. Tons upon tons of thrown-out plastic. Plastic Paradise is a documentary about Angela Sun’s journey to discover the Midway Atoll garbage patch and the effects of plastic on marine (and on land) wildlife. The documentary approaches the environmental crisis of plastic in startling, gruesome ways. The documentary opens with an incision of a dead albatross only to find bits of plastic and fishing wire inside. This film is for the young and dangerous, for the people willing to change the world. The youngsters.

Throughout the documentary, Angela Sun meets with famous celebrities, environmentalists, and activists who suppress society’s immense use of plastic products. As the document unfolds we are persuaded to caution our use of plastic as we see its effects on the ocean’s health and our own.

Before watching this, I didn’t know the effects of plastic on our ecosystem. Most pieces of plastic ever made are still in our world. (Aside from the plastic humans have launched into space) all the toys, containers, water bottles, and ALL the plastic you’ve ever had is still in the world.  Plastic is not biodegradable and the smaller it breaks down, the worse it is for the environment. While watching the film I got a twisted feeling. How have I unknowingly contributed to this ecological crisis.

In the heart of the pacific is an island home to the pacific garbage patch. Trash caught in the ocean flowed through a path of  currents and washed up to the shores of  Midway Atoll. Tons of plastic and trash have piled up on the island. Angela Sun has always felt close to the ocean and became a journalist of the ocean. Angela traveled to the midway atoll to discover what could become of the ocean due to plastic and trash. Not only is the health of the ocean in jeopardy, but our own. The documentary explores the dangers of plastic and how it’s virtually indestructible.

Plastic Paradise is an awakening call, mastered by Angela Suns. The graphics she uses are subtle but poignant. As Angela swims through a pile of trash the lighting and slowness of the shot brings an eerie tone. It sends shivers up your spine. The images and shots of dead birds and the gory effects of plastic are stunning and truly bring attention to the plastic problem.

As we all know things aren’t perfect. As close to perfect as this documentary was the documentary lacked to show the other side of plastic and its benefits. Besides this little fluke, the documentary was chilling, thought-provoking, and intense.

This documentary has been an advocate for change since 2014. On March 15, 2017, Angela Sun convinced Venice High’s student body to take a, “2 week pledge to say no to single use plastics,” according to the Plastic Paradise Twitter account. The documentary gained a larger following after a  Ted Talk by Angela Sun. She encouraged people to be aware of the environmental crisis  the world faces and how to preclude our excessive use of plastic by being curious and motivated. The documentary has gained lots of attention and continues to grow and make people aware of the horrors of the plastic industry. If you’re interested in this documentary you can find it on Youtube, Google Play, Vudu, and Amazon Video.

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