Life without plastic is almost unimaginable. It’s become central to the way we live our lives – from everyday items like food packaging and water bottles, to sophisticated high end products. But how many of us know what happens to that plastic when we throw it away?
“We quantified and estimated that 8 million metric tonnes of plastic entered the ocean (in one year).” Environmental Engineer
Scientists say vast amounts of our discarded plastic is ending up in the ocean.
“There’s so much plastic going in and we have no idea where it is.” Oceanographer
Working out where that plastic ends up and what impact it has on our oceans has become a major concern for many marine scientists.
“Submarine pilots know when they are at the bottom of the sea because they see the plastic.” Environmental Scientist
On Monday night, Four Corners brings you this thought provoking story from French filmmaker Vincent Perazio in which he examines the work of these scientists investigating our plastic waste.
Some are undertaking research to see if plastic is making its way into the food chain, others are looking into the impact on marine life and the environment.
“It’s not worth throwing away plastic bags. You should just season them well and eat them directly because they’re going to end up back on your plate in one way or another.” Marine Scientist
“Once there is so much plastic in the seas, there is nothing to eat for the filter feeders, for the fish, for the whales.” Oceanographer
The program asks confronting questions about whether or not we need to change the way we deal with the plastics we throw away.
“It's not about not using plastic, it's about using them much more smartly. And what that, in my view, is going to take is rethinking the way we produce, use and dispose of plastics.” Professor of Marine Biology
Oceans of Plastic, by French filmmaker Vincent Perazio and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 27th at 8.30pm EDT. It is replayed on Tuesday 28thFebruary at 10.00am and Wednesday 1 March at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview.