Plastic People co-director Ziya Tong | Photo by Peter Bregg

Exclusive Clip: Plastic People Explores the Costs of ‘Throwaway Living’

Documentary offers a call to correct single-use habits

2 mins read

Audiences looking to accept an Earth Day challenge might find sound advice in the new documentary Plastic People. The film, directed by Ben Addelman and Ziya Tong and produced by White Pine Pictures, explores the hidden costs of microplastics. Tong serves as the guide to the documentary and speaks with scientists, experts, activists, and everyday people leading the conversation about the dangers of single-use plastics.

Plastic People considers the possibility for communities to correct their habits, noting that the explosion of single-use plastics is a relatively recent phenomenon. In this exclusive clip from Plastic People, author Susan Freinkel explains how the post-World War II period inspired a quick shift to single-use plastics in order to feed the interests of industry.

The documentary cautions that staying the course with “throwaway living,” a term coined by Life magazine in 1955 to convey the capitalist endeavour to favour single-use goods, bodes immediate threats to our health and environment. Tong speaks with scientists who tell how plastic infiltrates the human body with consequences far worse than we think. The film offers a cautionary tale with a hint of optimism by illustrating how a society taught to embrace “throwaway living” can correct its habits by re-learning its relationship with plastic goods and put the “reuse” part of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” into practice.

Plastic People premiered earlier this year at SXSW where Variety said it “takes an issue you think you’ve grasped and colors it in. It takes your scattershot information and fuses it into a fuller vision — of the past, and the future.” It has its Canadian premiere at DOXA Documentary Festival in May, followed by a run on Telus. Subscribe today to read more about Plastic People in our latest issue.

Watch an exclusive clip from Plastic People below:

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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