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On Midway atoll in the North Pacific, dozens of young albatross lie dead on the sand, their stomachs filled with cigarette lighters, toy soldiers and other small plastic objects their parents have mistaken for food.
That sad and surreal sight, says Hong Kong-based Australian film director Craig Leeson, is one of the many symptoms of a plague afflicting the world’s oceans, food chains and human communities: the onslaught of discarded plastic.
“Every piece of plastic ever made since the fifties exists in some shape or form on the planet,” Leeson told AFP. “We throw plastic into a bin, it’s taken away from us and we never see it again — but it still comes back at us.”
Over the past year, Leeson has been following the menace of plastic from Sardinia to Canada to the Indian Ocean for a film that aims to combine the art of nature documentary with a campaigning quest.
Provisionally called “Away”, the film — backed by David Attenborough and the UK-based Plastic Oceans Foundation — brings together new research on the spread of plastic with missions by “explorers” such as Ben Fogle to show the diverse effects of plastic trash.
Its message is that while you may throw out your plastic goods, they are never really thrown “away”.
In fact, Leeson said, the mass of plastic the size of Texas often said to exist in the North Pacific is a myth. Instead, particles of plastic lurk there invisibly, in seemingly clear water.
“If you trawl for it with these special nets that they’ve developed, you come back with this glutinous mass — it’s microplastics that are in the water along with the plankton,” he said.
“When you see a toy soldier or a lighter that’s manufactured in China that ends up in the stomach of an albatross at Midway Point in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, that just shows you how much effect you’re having on the environment,” he said.
Leeson will not divulge all the findings from new research carried out for the film, but it is clear the message will be an alarming one.
The film will question the “disposable lifestyle” behind discarded plastic, but not advocate banning the substance altogether.
Originally posted by halffinger4
reply to post by WP4YT
The biggest problem is the littering and not the landfill.