Durable, high-tech, sexy and see through...we just can't seem to resist its glossy appeal. It seems so modern, it's hard to believe it's been around for 100 years! The early days of plastics were explosive: the first synthetic billiard balls blew up on impact! Over the years plastics have quietly permeated all parts of our lives. But what do we do with something that doesn't go away when we throw it way? Our oceans and dumps are filling up with the stuff, and yet inventive ideas for single use plastics just keep rolling out.
Upscale eggs are now nesting in clear plastic egg cartons, rather than cardboard ones (made from recycled paper and fully recyclable). Leyenda Lee of Interplast Packaging argues that her plastic egg cartons are environmentally friendly, but are they?
The plastics industry argues that recycling is the answer. If you had to do a Plastics Recycling Test - would you pass? All those puzzling plastics add to the challenge each time we put out our curbside blue boxes/bags. And what about that reassuring recycling symbol that's on most plastics - can you use it for guidance? When environmental consultant David Siddiqui tests Canadians' understanding of plastics recycling he discovers that there is mass confusion.
Municipalities are struggling to keep up with plastic industry pressures and consumer expectations, as the costs for recycling escalate. Atul Nanda from Recyclable Materials Marketing trades in our trash. He buys and sells used glass, paper and of course, more and more plastic, supplied by the municipal sorting plants. He has some shocking news about just how many types of plastics are actually being recycled.
As the mountains of plastic debris continue to grow some individuals are doing their part to reduce the waste. Internationally recognised eco-designer Stuart Haygarth upcycles plastic trash into his seductive and glamorous artworks. Chuck Sparks and Lisa Lackenbauer from Think Plastics are creating 100% plastic lumber from the piles of used hay bale wrap and greenhouse wrap that are covering the Ontario countryside (and the world), but it's an uphill battle.
From the 1950s the public image of plastic was all about convenience and fun (remember the hula hoop?). We threw it away without a second thought. Forever Plastic catches a moment in time as we are forced to find new ways to reduce our plastic footprint.
Format : AVI
Length : 349 MiB for 43mn 56s 569ms
Codec : XviD
Source : HDTV
Video #0 : MPEG-4 Visual at 985 Kbps
Aspect : 528 x 304 (1.737) at 29.970 fps