Why Plastic?

3 Films and 10 Shorts about Plastic, the Planet, and Pollution

Plastic is a revolutionary material. It’s durable, affordable, multi-functional - and it has pushed our planet to the brink of one of the worst environmental crises in modern history.

Plastic is also a topic marked by misinformation, disinformation, and general confusion. WHY PLASTIC? is a three-part investigative environmental documentary series that busts the myths and misinformation, while taking a closer look at what is fact and what is fiction.

Each film investigates a different aspect of plastic pollution: Recycling, Human Health and The Industry.

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Films about Plastic

After two years of researching, following the money, and talking to the leading experts, we present three cutting-edge environmental documentary films, unlike any plastic documentaries made before.

Filmed across the globe and revealing the latest scientific research, WHY PLASTIC? brings uncomfortable facts to the table, confronting audiences with surprising findings as well as powerful narratives of the lives directly affected by plastic pollution.

The films dig deep into what happens to our plastic trash, investigate industry pledges, and unveil the local and global effects our plastic use has on the environment - and our health.

Coca-Cola's Plastic Promises

Laura Mulholland & Max Stern

The soft drinks industry has faced growing criticism of the use of single-use plastic. In 2018 Coca-Cola, the world’s largest soft drinks producer, set ambitious targets to reduce the amount of its plastic packaging that ends up in the environment. It said that by 2030 it would collect one bottle or can for every one it sold and make them from 50% recycled material. Coke’s plan is to eliminate waste by turning old bottles into new ones. In this film, we investigate Coca-Cola’s World Without Waste strategy. Could it be a shining example for the whole beverage industry? Or is Coke’s plan to recycle its way out of the problem fundamentally flawed? And how well, after three years, is Coca-Cola doing around the world in meeting the commitments it has made?

The Recycling Myth

Tom Costello & Benedict Wermter

In the last few years the plastic pollution crisis has become an international scandal. Pictures of dead animals, littered rivers, and polluted oceans have shocked the world. The plastic packaging industry has declared it knows how to solve the problem: recycling. Increasingly, bottles, boxes and sachets are proudly stamped with the words ‘100% recyclable’ as brands compete to reassure consumers that their packaging purchases are guilt-free. But if recycling is really the solution, why is the world pumping out more virgin plastic than ever before? Could recycling really be the ultimate greenwash? We follow the money into an industry that’s designed to hide the problem rather than solve it. We track the black-market brokers who hunt for countries to dump our plastic, waste moguls getting rich by burning trash, and the organised criminals for whom waste smuggling is now as lucrative as human trafficking. And we show how some of the biggest consumer-goods brands on earth spin the recycling fairytale as a way to allow them to continue polluting without consequence. As we all pick up the bill for a world drowning in plastic, the film asks: who is getting rich?

We The Guinea Pigs

Louise Kjeldsen

Could it be that we are all involuntary participants in a huge experiment, threatening humankind? According to the researchers in "We The Guinea Pigs", this might very well be the case. As plastic has gained ground in our lives over the years, there has been an inexplicable increase in a number of diseases and disorders. In the past, 1 in 20 women used to get breast cancer - today it is one in eight. Men's sperm quality has been halved in 50 years. And the number of children and adults who are diagnosed with attention deficit disorders has increased explosively. In the film, we meet leading researchers as well as follow case studies of ordinary people. The 40-year-old woman who has aggressive breast cancer, involuntarily childless couples and the young woman with ADHD. Are these people the victims of unfortunate coincidences - or is there an explanation? The researchers are in no doubt. They know that our natural hormones can be disturbed by chemicals from, among other things, plastic. Experiments on animals have shown that it is especially in fetal life that adverse health effects can occur. Before you were even born, it could be that you were pre-programmed to get various diseases and disorders later in life.

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Shorts about Plastic

Mad About Plastic

Anna Sobczyk

It takes 5.3 liters of water to make a single-use plastic bottle. What if everyone had access to tap water instead?

By the Sea

Lynn Bianchi

With the rate of plastic pollution in oceans increasing at an alarming rate, our beaches are on route to be less peaceful and more polluted. By the Sea gives us a dystopian idea of what our beaches might look like in the future, if we continue at this rate.

A Small Deed

Prachi Bari

The Pune Ploggers is an Indian group of trash collectors. Their concept is simple, combine jogging with picking up waste from the streets. A small deed that makes a difference.

Plastic Ecosystem

Stefie Gan

Plastic Ecosystem is a stop motion film by Stefie Gan, that shows us what it might be like to have an eco system that consists entirely of plastic - a future that we may have to face, if the global consumption of plastic is not reduced.


Asghar Besharati

Around 500 billion plastic bags are used every year. That's almost 1 million every minute. What happens to them?

Un Vestige

IFF Robin

Un Vestige is a French short film that depicts a little girl making an unusual discovery - a plastic bag on a beach. This film shows us what it might be like to have future without waste, where plastic is a distant memory.

End Effect

Karolina Wyrwal

End Effect is a creative take on our over consumption of plastic - an interpretation of the ramifications of our lives with plastic.


Sachin Vs

PlastiC is a stop motion film about the damaging effects of plastic pollution on ocean animals and their ecosystems. Plastic is a revolutionary material. It’s durable, it’s affordable, it’s multi-functional - and it has pushed our planet to the brink of one of the worst environmental crises in modern history.

Interested in using some of our films for educational purposes?

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