PLASTIC PLANET

 

We live in the Age of Plastic.

It’s cheap and practical, and it’s everywhere – even in our blood.

But is it a danger to us?

This feisty, informative documentary takes us on a journey around the globe - from the Moroccan Sahara to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, from a factory in China to the highest peaks of the Alps - to reveal the far-flung reaches of our plastic problem.

Interviews with the world’s foremost experts in biology, pharmacology, and genetics shed light on the perils of plastic to our environment and expose the truth of how plastic affects our bodies and the health of future generations. 

  

"Intelligent, wide-ranging, methodically researched. Plastic Planet is that rare call-to-action documentary that might  rouse viewers to do something." - Variety

 

90 minutes, documentary feature (2009), presented in 70 countries worldwide (so far)

TRAILER (Youtube)

 

Worldsales: doc&film                                                  US-distributor: firstrunfeatures.com

Buy DVD (english)                             Buy DVD (german)                      Buy DVD (french)

The book (german)                                                                                The book (french)

Trailer spanish                                                      Download Image: Plasticfromthehouse

Learn more about the almost unbelievable follow-ups of this film: Plastic Planet german

• Watch on NETFLIX

  

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SYNOPSIS

We live in the age of plastic. It’s cheap and practical, and it’s everywhere – even in our blood. But is it a danger to us?

The plastic industry annually generates hundreds of billions of dollars. Every industrial sector in the world today is dependent on plastic. The amount of plastic we have produced since it was invented would be enough to cover the entire globe six times over. But this inexpensive and convenient substance comes with a hefty price. Plastic stays in the ground and water system for up to 500 years. It is found on every beach in the world. Numerous studies have proven that the chemicals it releases (such as Bisphenol A) migrate into the human body and may contribute to or cause grave health problems, from allergies to obesity to infertility, cancer and heart disease.

For Austrian director Werner Boote, plastic is personal. His grandfather was one of the early manufacturers of plastic and he introduced Boote at a young age to the magic substance that would change the world. Many years later, after reading about the global threat posed by plastic, he decides to embark on a quest to discover the truth about this pervasive substance. Traveling to fourteen countries, he boldly and humorously confronts manufacturers, scientists, government officials and consumers to ask questions that concern all of us: Why don’t we change our consumption behavior?  Why is the industry not reacting to apparent dangers? Who is held accountable for hills of garbage mounting in deserts and seas?   Who wins in this game?  And who loses?

This feisty, informative documentary takes us on a journey around the globe - from the Moroccan Sahara to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, from a factory in China to the highest peaks of the Alps - to reveal the far-flung reaches of our plastic problem. Interviews with the world’s foremost experts in biology, pharmacology, and genetics shed light on the perils of plastic to our environment and expose the truth of how plastic affects our bodies and the health of future generations. Interspersing animated sequences and old commercials, this eye-opening film reveals how the world has wholeheartedly embraced the convenience of a substance it knows nothing about.

  

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Environmental Analyst Kurt Scheidl with Werner Boote  

   

Interview by The Indiewire:

Werner Boote Jump Starts a Revolution in "Plastic Planet"

 

The best and strangest job in the world...

Filmmaking is the best and most varied job. I've received death threats and had mojos sent home. The debt collector took away my car and 30-minutes later (no kidding!) I sat in a stretched limo driving to a gala to receive a golden award. I directed scenes with a staff of 400 professionals in the desert and a month later I found myself alone with my camera in Siberia.

Actually my grandmother might have taught me to love "the film". She placed the little Werner next to an 8-mm home projector on the ground whenever she wanted peace. The projector was always five inches in front of the wall. The film was always the same ("Laurel & Hardy"). The warm and noisy big projector and the stunning fast running film strip attracted my attention and taught me that film is much more than this tiny image on the wall.

I started at the bottom as a best boy for TV and cinema and did almost every possible job in the industry. I love making docs because you meet great people, see fantastic places and learn about important issues. And above all: Films are the best way to change peoples minds. And I am allowed to say so.

 

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The Age of Plastic...

After the stone age, the bronze age and the iron age, we now have the age of plastic. The amount of plastic we've produced since the beginning of the age of plastic is enough to wrap the entire planet six times in plastic.

Back in the 60s my grandfather was managing director of the German Interplastic Werke. Because of him plastic was not only an important material in my childhood but a holy word within my family.

In 1999 I read an article in the newspaper, saying that fish are dying out because of a substance, which leaks out of plastics. I wanted to know more about it and started to investigate the material and its impact. I needed to find out the truth about plastics.

The plastics industry makes more than 800 Million Euros turnover a year. In the past I thought that they tested their products carefully! For "Plastic Planet" we tested many plastic products and I was shocked. Dangerous substances have been found in different kinds of plastic products. Even in baby bottles and baby dummies. For "Plastic Planet" I traveled to 28 different countries and spoke to scientists, politicians and people from the plastics industry. I accepted two blood tests to find out whether I have plastic in my blood or not.

Last year I completed "Plastic Planet." The film is my first long feature doc and shows that plastic has become a threat to both the environment and human health. Due to the film some people even changed their lives and various products have been taken off the EU-market.

 

Entertaining the audience and himself...

For some reason or another people are always telling me more than they normally would. That is why I mainly get offers for documentaries. The subjects which I am talking about in my films strongly arousing my interest. Once the film entertains me, it quite likely will entertain the audience.

Starting a project I often can not explain why I am interested in this subject and I am often going to start in an unconventional way. This is not an easy situation for my producers.

I am investigate the subject from my point of view and I am put my own excitement and doubts into the shooting of the film. This is not an easy situation for my crew. That is the reason I tell some of my documentaries from my own point of view and even as a helmer (like "Kurt Rydl" or "The Flying Dutchman"). This is not an easy situation, too! A guy on a search needs to direct a helmer in the middle on a quest!

 
 
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Personal ties to "Plastic Planet"...

"Plastic Planet" became a very personal film because I found myself investigating my grandfather's material. In the beginning I asked myself the question, "How is my family going to react if the film needs to tell that my grandfathers material is a danger?" Luckily my family lost faith in my long term film-project over the years. They thought that I would never succeed in finishing my first long feature film. In the end my family has been relieved that I finally completed "Plastic Planet." They winked at the fact that it tells the other side of grandfather´s material.

 

Toughest challenge in completing the project...

Endurance. No one wanted to invest in the "greenie" until producer Ilann Girard ("The March of the Penguins") heard about my film idea and stepped on the show. The most difficult moment during shooting this film was that I finally knew so much about the dangers of plastics, while still, everyone around me bought plastic without challenging it. After shooting on the garbage dump in India the whole film-crew got seriously ill and we spent a week in the hospitals getting infusions. Plastics saved our lives! I was lying there watching every phthalate running through the pipe into my body and during the weeks before I just have learned that some hospitals still use products made from harmful phthalates.

On the occasion of the film's opening in Europe PlasticsEurope sent a 14 page media kit to all the European plastic manufacturers and told them not to make any statements against the film in order to not make any unwanted advertising. Since the film's opening I am constantly invited as an anti-plastic ambassador. Instead of working on my new film I am at the moment working on new draft proposals with the Federal Environment Agency. Thanks to this film I need to sit through all kinds of parliamentary Assemblies. Another test of endurance.

 

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Werner Bootes blood test shows that he is having a high amount of BPA in his blood plasma.

 

Starting a revolution...

One week after the film opened in theaters in Austria, a family called me and told me they wanted to make an experiment. They wanted to find out if they can live without plastics for a month. Today, a year after, they are still not buying any plastic products and they are still alive. Many people since then have stopped buying plastics or changed their behavior in dealing with plastic products. Even a Member of the National Council in my country is now living without plastics. People began performing a vast number of activities after watching the film. Supermarkets came up with new products and banned plastic bags off the market. The Minister of Health in Austria banned BPA, a harmful substance. Now the EU Commission banned the material. Due to the films presentation at the MEIFF in Abu Dhabi the Minister of Environment and H2O banned plastic bags in UAE beginning in 2013. Several scientific studies have been made because of the film. There is even one saying that since "Plastic Planet" was completed it is far more easier to receive financing for studies about plastics than before. The film seems to fascinate adults and pupils as there are many art exhibitions, presentation and actions on schools tied to "Plastic Planet."

 

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Austrian family Krautwaschl were the first who started a life without plastics after watching Plastic Planet

Mrs. Sandra Krautwaschl wrote a book and offers a blog about her life without plastics.  

 

 

Praise for Werner Boote´s PLASTIC PLANET

{Winner of 2010 German Environment-Media-Award}

{Winner of 2010 Golden ROMY for Best Documentary Feature}

"Plastic Planet is that rare call-to-action documentary that might rouse viewers to do something more than nod their heads in agreement. A methodically researched yet engaging examination of the environmental and health problems associated with plastic, this wide-ranging warning cry uses an intelligent investigative style along with animation and vintage footage to drive home its message." - Jay Weissberg, Variety

"Plastic Planet is so important that the documentary is a must-see." - Ernest Hardy, Village Voice

"Every bit as unshakable as An Inconvenient Truth." – James Snyder, Time Out NY

"Fast-paced and episodic, there's no denying the ultimate power of this disturbing effort." 
- Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

"A gutsy documentary." - Nicole Zak, Encore Magazine

"An important call to action."- Amy Westervelt, Plastic Pollution Coalition

"At once scary and engaging, Plastic Planet is the best kind of advocacy documentary and should be seen by industrialists, academics, and the public at large." 
-Eric Monder, Film Journal International

 

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Werner Boote with Golden ROMY for "Best Documentary Feature" (© Manfred Werner, 2010)

 

Festivals:

SAARBRÜCKEN (Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis)                                        RIO DE JANEIRO (International Film Festival)

BERLINALE (Green Me Lounge)                               KOPENHAGEN (CPH:DOX - international documentary film festival)

TEHERAN (Fajr International Film Festival)                                                                                       AARHUS (Filmfestival)

VICTORIA (Film Festival)                                KÖLN, BOCHUM, MÜNSTER ("Stranger Than Fiction" Dokumentarfilmfest)

OSLO ("Eurodok" European Documentary Film Festival)                                       TURNHOUT (Filmfestival "Open Doek")

LEUVEN ("Docville" International Documentary Festival)                                      ITINÉRANCES (Festival Cinéma d´Alès)

TURIN (CinemAmbiente - International Environmental Film Festival)                                  PALIC (European Film Festival)

WIESBADEN (Atlantis Natur- und Umweltfilmfestival)                             TIGRE (Festival Internacional de Cine Ambiental)

LEEDS (International Film Festival)                                                PARIS (Festival International du Film d'Environnement)

ABU DHABI (Middle East International Film Festival)                                                                WARSCHAU (Film Festival)

MAR DEL PLATA (International Film Festival)                                                              SEVILLA (Festival de Cine Europeo)                        

HOF (Internationale Filmtage)                                                       NEUSTRELITZ (Nature Film Festival) - Audience Award

and SPECIAL SCREENING at the Climate Change Conference Cancun, Mexico 2010

 

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You can download those stickers here.

  

BOOK

The book "Plastic Planet" is an additional information to the film "Plastic Planet". It is available in german and french. 

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If you would like to buy the book in german:    Plastic Planet: Die dunkle Seite der Kunststoffe (Amazon)

If you would like to buy the book in french:      Plastic Planet: La face cachée des matères synthétiques (Amazon)

If you would like the book to be available in other languages please contact the publisher: orange press

 

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DIRECTOR´S STATEMENT

 

The idea for the film: 

1999 I read in a Dutch daily newspaper, that fish were dying in a certain English river, due to a substance present in plastic. Shortly after, I came across an article in “Time Magazine” declaring that Greenland’s seas were intoxicated with synthetics. I read more and more articles in the news reporting of some kind of danger arising through the use of plastics. A small report in an Austrian daily newspaper a few years back disclosed traces of heavy loads of synthetics in the Pacific, and it shook me that no one knew of this! A few days following, the same daily newspaper brought an eight-page report on the topic, financed by the synthetics industry, fit to look like the newspaper itself. My logical summary: That first little report one quickly skims over, but eight pages that assert how innovative, how environmentally friendly and how splendid plastics are, are stuck within the reader. That’s why I thought: I’ll make a film on this.  

Boote’s personal connection: 

My grandfather worked in the German synthetics industry when I was a child. He came to Vienna every weekend and always brought me pretty presents that were usually made from synthetics. I was very proud of them as they were shiny, colorful, and could do everything.  

Advantages of plastic: 

The great advantage of plastic is that it is cheap and it is comfortable, as it is lighter than other materials. It is easier to carry home a plastic bottle. Plastic also enables the production of all kinds of shapes and sizes. One can quickly pour plastic into a colorful, gaudy shape that even smells good – of phthalate. 

Boote’s role in the film: 

My films are my personal quest for answers. Thus the persona Werner Boote plays a certain role in the film. When I say I made an investigative film, the question immediately arises, whether it’s similar to Michael Moore. My response, “Heaven forbid!” It is nothing more than my personal search or journey. I don’t create propaganda films to say “Hi, Let me show you how the world really works…” “Plastic Planet” became a film that tracks and follows me, on my search of finding out what is going on with our plastic planet. 

The fear of those in power: 

I have been threatened a good deal of times in my career. When one chooses to make documentaries on hot topics, opponents will get in touch with you in acceptable and unacceptable ways. Currently, the synthetics-, oil- and the other industries that depend on plastic, are in confrontation mode – I’ll put on my plastic-bullet-proof vest and see what happens. 

The message and the audience: 

I’m not saying, “Don’t buy another piece of plastic.” That would not work. If I manage to get people to think through my film, to consider not buying as much plastic, it would be great. We would have achieved a lot. The film says to its audience, “Hey, become a bit more aware in terms of plastic usage. Inform yourselves. Ask your grocery store-keeper what is behind it all, and why plastic packaging doesn’t list all the toxins that wander into your food.” The food-store chains will react and change their attitude. Because EU legislation states that the consumer can ask the seller, and that the seller is bound to inform the consumer on what is inside of products. People just don’t know this. 

 

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FACTS ON CONSUMPTION

 

Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year. According to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year. According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers is $4 billion) - According to the industry publication Modern Plastics, Taiwan consumes 20 billion bags a year—900 per person. - According to Australia’s Department of Environment, Australians consume 6.9 billion plastic bags each year—326 per person. An estimated .7% or 49,600,000 end up as litter each year.

 

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ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food. Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest. As part of Clean Up Australia Day, in one day nearly 500,000 plastic bags were collected. Windblown plastic bags are so prevalent in Africa that a cottage industry has sprung up harvesting bags and using them to weave hats, and even bags. According to the BBC, one group harvests 30,000 per month. According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, plastic bags have gone "from being rare in the late 80s and early 90s to being almost everywhere from Spitsbergen 78° North [latitude] to Falklands 51° South [latitude]. Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.

 

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SOLUTION

In 2001, Ireland consumed 1.2 billion plastic bags, or 316 per person. An extremely successful plastic bag consumption tax, or PlasTax, introduced in 2002 reduced consumption by 90%. Approximately 18,000,000 liters of oil have been saved due to this reduced production. Governments around the world are considering implementing similar measures. Introduced just over 25 years ago, the ugly truth about our plastic bag addiction is that society's consumption rate is now estimated at well over 500,000,000,000 (that's 500 billion) plastic bags annually, or almost 1 million per minute. Single-use bags made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are the main culprit. Once brought into existence to tote your purchases, they'll accumulate and persist on our planet for up to 1,000 years. Australians alone consume about 6.9 billion plastic bags each year, that's 326 per person. According to Australia's Department of Environment, an estimated 49,600,000 annually end up as litter. In 2001, Ireland used 1.2 billion disposable plastic bags, or 316 per person. An extremely successful plastic bag tax, or PlasTax, introduced in 2002 reduced consumption by 90%. According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make that many plastic bags. Four out of five grocery bags in the US are now plastic. Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year when animals mistake them for food. In a dramatic move to stem a tide of 60,000 metric tons of plastic bag and plastic utensil waste per year, Taiwan banned both in 2008. According to the BBC, only 1 in 200 plastic bags in the UK are recycled. According to the WSJ Target, the second-largest retailer in the U.S., purchases 1.8 billion bags a year. As part of Clean Up Australia Day, in one day nearly 500,000 plastic bags were collected. Unfortunately, each year in Australia an estimated 50,000,000 plastic bags end up as litter. The average family accumulates 60 plastic bags in only four trips to the grocery store. Each high quality reusable bag you use has the potential to eliminate an average of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime. The bag will pay for itself if your grocery store offers a $.05 or $.10 credit per bag for bringing your own bags. Windblown plastic bags are so prevalent in Africa that a cottage industry has sprung up harvesting bags and using them to weave hats, and even bags. According to the BBC one group harvests 30,000 per month. In the Emirates one out of three camels is dying because of windblown plastic bags. 

 

Watch on NETFLIX

 

CREDITS

Written & Directed by

Werner Boote

Producers

Thomas BognerDaniel Zuta

Executive Producers

Tom GläserIlann Girard

Camera

Thomas Kirschner

Editors

Ilana GoldschmidtCordula Werner, Tom Pohanka

Music

The Orb

Research

Werner Boote, Katharina List, Florian Brandt, Doris Lippitsch, Elisabeth Krimbacher, Henning Kröger, Ursina Angel, Julia Irene Peters, Elisabeth Kanettis, Silvia Vollmeier, Marie Therese Zumtobel, Wibke Giese, Lucia Jakubickova, Daniela Ramusch, Maria Senn

Scientific Consultants

Klaus Rhomberg, Werner Müller , Axel Singhofen , Hans Werner Mackwitz, Andreas Schmidt, Kurt Scheidl

Interview Partners

John Taylor, Felice Casson, Beatrice Bortolozzo, Manfred Zahora, Hermann Bicherl, Susan Jobling, Hiroshi Sagae, Vicky Zhang, Patricia Hunt, Scott Belcher, Fred vom Saal, Theo Colborn, Frederick Corbin, Jeff Harris, Charles Moore, Peter Frigo, Guido Brosius, Alessandra Desauvage, Kurt Scheidl, Margot Wallström

Scientific Support

Umweltbundesamt Wien, WHO, Greenpeace International, Friends of the Earth, Global 2000, Algalita Marine Research Foundation, AMAP, Norwegian Polar Institute, Shanna Swan, Institut für Lebensmitteluntersuchung Linz, Ökotest, Jörg Oehlmann, AK Wien, WKO/Statistik Austria, Verein für Konsumenteninformation, Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, Stiftung Warentest, CEFIC , Center for Health, Environment and Justice N.Y., European Chemicals Bureau, REACH

Animation

Cine Cartoon Filmproduktion, Vienna, Animator: Peter Höhsl, Storyboard: Zhivko Zheliazkov, Graphic Design: Sebastian Brauneis
Assistance ORF, Österreichisches Filminstitut, Deutscher Filmförderungsfonds, Hessen Filminvest

With: John Taylor, Peter Lieberzeit, Marques Brown, Othman Ilyassa, Klaus Rhomberg, Beatrice Bortolozzo, Felice Casson, Juergen Artner, Frederic Corbin, Robin Tharaldson, Hermann Bicherl, Vicky Zhang, Theo Colborn, Kurt Scheidl, Rupsha Raghuram, Charles Moore, Susan Jobling, Scott Belcher, Patricia Hunt, Gunther von Hagens, Badru Okidi, Hiroshi Sagae, Jeff Harris, Fred vom Saal, Craig Halgreen, Guido Brosius, Stefano Facco, Catia Bastioli, Ray Hammond, Margot Wallstrom, Elfriede Boote. Narrator: Mark Jefferis

 

 

ABOUT THE FILM/PRODUCTION INFORMATION

Plastic Planet is an Austrian–German Coproduction by Neue Sentimental Film Entertainment GmbH, in Vienna (in the meantime this company is bankrupt), and Brandstorm Entertainment AG, in Frankfurt (Producer: Daniel Zuta). Ilann Girard (ARSAM, Paris) acts as Executive Producer. Cine Cartoon Filmproduktion GmbH in Vienna assisted with the animation in the film as a co-producer. 

In the summer of 2003, director Werner Boote first introduced the topic to producer Thomas Bogner from Neue Sentimental Film, after years of research. It took almost four years for further realization of the material and of the relatively high production costs. The film was shot from Spring 2007 to Spring 2008, with one additional shooting day in October 2008. Postproduction lasted almost a year. 

Pre-shooting work began summer 2005 in Innsbruck, Austria, in the Moroccan Sahara and in the USA (Grand Junction "House Clearing", interview with Dr. Theo Colborn). They served in the making of a first trailer, and certain parts were used in the documentary that followed. A further, advanced shoot took place in October 2006 in Venice. (Porto Maghera, interview with attorney Phillipe Casson). The first official shooting-phase started Spring 2007 in London (Susan Jobling, Intersex-Fische), then back to Vienna over Finland (ÖMV, Borealis), further through Japan (Tokio, Tsushima, Minamata City, Kumamoto), China (Shanghai) and to India (Kalkutta). After a short break the team traveled through the USA (Los Angeles, Pullman, Cincinnati, and Columbia) and over the Pacific via helicopter, to Charles Moore’s boat. A second unit shot additional material in Morocco and Uganda (Kampala). Back in Europe the shoot covered German (Düsseldorf, Guben), Italian (Novara), Belgian (Brussels, Waterloo) and, Austrian (Dachstein, Vienna) territory.  

 

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Back to the beginning.

 

INTERVIEWEE BIOS

 

JOHN TAYLOR 

Former president of PlasticsEurope, association of European synthetics producers, lays emphasis on the number of positive contributions, plastic has made to society during his life. PlasticsEurope is one of the leading European business associations. Over 1.6 million people work in over 50.000 businesses within the synthetic-industry (within processing, mostly small and medium-sized businesses), generating a turnover of over 300 billion Euros per year. 

FELICE CASSON 

Felice Casson, a renowned, Italian investigative judge, attorney and current Senator of the Italian Parliament is known for his fearlessness, and is author of “The Poison Factory“. 

BEATRICE BORTOLOZZO 

The daughter of Gabriele Bortolozzo, fatality victim in the trial against Montedison, tells of her father’s struggle for justice, gapless clarification, and safe working environments for those working in the chemistry industry.  

SUSAN JOBLING-EASTWOOD 

Susan Jobling is an environmental scientist; she is a specialist in endocrinal disruption of waters. Jobling was amongst the first scientists to carry out research on the phenomenon of intersex fish (fish with both male and female reproductive organs). Leading a comprehensive study at the British Brunel University that analyzed water samples from 30 British Rivers over a period of three years, Jobling knows: chemical causes of hormonal dysfunctions of animals and humans are far more complex than was hitherto assumed.  

HIROSHI SAGAE 

A Japanese artist, whose work includes plastic sculptures. He created the “miniature Werner Boote” for the film “Plastic Planet” (which also offered the prototype for the cartoon figures in the film). Veiled slightly by his humor but apparent through his thoughtful tone, he hints towards the fact that he is fully aware of the severe health risks that accompany his preferred working media. He nonetheless processes significant quantities of it.  

PATRICIA HUNT 

The renowned geneticist Patricia Hunt operates at the Case Western University, Cleveland, Ohio. In 2003 by means of investigation, her research team for the first time managed to prove that administrating BPA to mice, even in minimum quantities, damaged the genetic makeup, being able to cause dysfunctions such as the well-known Down syndrome. 

SCOTT BELCHER 

The pharmacologist and cell biophysicist Scott Belcher of the University of Cincinnati was initially able to prove on animals, that Bisphenol A influences brain activity, even in small dosages. In Belcher’s animal tests, the substance initiated a devastating effect after several minutes: it blocked the signal path of the female sex-hormone estrogen and thus the natural development of brain cells – impartial of the animals’ sex. Belcher warns that BPA, especially in those small dosages people come in touch with in everyday life, causes extreme impact. 

THEO COLBORN 

Author of “Our Stolen Future. How We Are Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence and Survival.” She is Professor of zoology at the university of Florida, Gainesville and president of  “The Endocrine Disruption Exchange” (TEDX). She does research on the effects of the environment on health and is well known for her studies on the impacts of chemicals causing disruptions of the hormonal system.   

FRED VOM SAAL 

The biologist Frederick vom Saal examines the impacts of natural and synthetic hormones and counts to the most distinguished scientists in the area of endocrinology. Saal is known as the spokesman of critics of Bisphenol A, one of the most used and important chemicals in the world. Since 1995 vom Saal’s analyses have suggested that small amounts of BPA can reduce sperm production, influence the development of the brain, increase the weight of the prostate or cause changes in the genetic makeup. The worldwide media attention vom Saal has achieved, is not alone due to his remarkable research findings, but also arises from his heated critique of well- known chemical corporations, which he accuses of manipulating test results. Fred vom Saal currently lectures and researches at the University of Missouri, USA. 

FREDERICK CORBIN 

Dr Corbin is known as one of the most prominent plastic surgeons in Hollywood. 

CHARLES MOORE 

The captain and wealthy heir of a US oil company. In 1994 Charles Moore discovered the so-called “North Pacific Gyre", a strip of plastic covering several thousand kilometers in the Northern Pacific, around 1600 kilometers outside California’s coast. Moore thereupon founded the Algalita Marine Research Trust to explore the phenomenon. He estimates the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” as it is called, to consist of 100 million tons of floating garbage today. 

PETER FRIGO 

Peter Frigo is a specialist for hormones and women’s medical science, and has further specialized on “estrogen within the environment”, “hormones and cancer”, “new ultrasonic technologies” as well as “hormonal problems of women”. His analyses of sewage water show the prevalence of xenoestrogens in the environment, which the expert relates to current methods of contraception (the pill) and industrial chemicals such as DDT, Bisphenol A and Phthalate. Frigo sees these as a possible cause of decreasing fertility rates and an increase in hormonally induced tumors. He discusses these topics in scholarly- and mainstream journals, by means of international studies examining the effects hormones and hormonal substances have on human reproduction capability, rate of carcinoma, as well as intelligence. His book “Die Frau der Zukunft” (“Women of the future”) explains, how health, beauty and wellbeing can be enhanced through hormonal therapies. The most relevant hormones are portrayed, including how they work and how they can influence quality of life of humans. Dr. Frigo has also developed a functional drink, “Beauty and Power”, based on bioactive phytochemicals.  

KURT SCHEIDL 

The Austrian environmental analyst tests the inflatable plastic globe, which accompanies Werner Boote around the whole world in the film, for containing potentially dangerous substances. The conclusion: the seemingly harmless toy and symbol for our planet, contains poison. This plastic globe, made in China (see film footage of Werner Boote in the factory Qinxu in Shanghai) should be prohibited due to its chemical composition. 

MARGOT WALLSTRÖM 

During shooting Plastic Planet Margot Wallström was the current vice-president of the European Commission and an active agent for institutional relations and communication strategies. She is a high-ranking politician and lead figure in the most innovative chemical legislature on European level – REACH, future role model for chemical policies worldwide. She tells of her own experiences as environmental minister, and outlines the resilience of synthetics producers against REACH. She makes visible the strength of force lobbyists of the chemistry industry have on politicians in Brussels. As environmental minister in the commission Prodi from 1999 to 2004, Wallström managed the greatest legislative scheme in the history of the EU: REACH, the first all-encompassing chemical guideline worldwide. 

KLAUS RHOMBERG 

Klaus Rhomberg is specialist for medical biology in Innsbruck. He is experienced in human genetics and has been dealing with the impact of harmful substances on the human organism for more than 20 years. In his reports, he warns of the toxin-effects on a child in the mother’s womb, and of the falling fertility arising from environmental poisons. Critique on studies contributed by the industry (such as biologist vom Saal - see above). Two years following, a small press conference that held place in Tutzing completely tore the study apart, from the sample-picking procedure over the analysis to the leaving-out of outrageous figure values.  

RAY HAMMOND 

Futurist and author of various future based novels. Since his book “The World in 2030” which was commissioned by the synthetics industry, he acts as “business speaker“/ lobbyist for PlasticsEurope. 

GUNTHER VON HAGENS 

German plasticization artist, whose mummifications are made possible by synthetics being injected into human corpses. The idea of “humans increasingly consisting of plastic” takes on a living form in his work. Thanks to plastic, humans are becoming immortal.

 

Watch on NETFLIX

  

Please find much more information about the film and it´s unbelievable follow-ups:

Plastic Planet (german)

Plasticfree community (german)       EU-legislation and other success (german)     Art inspired by Plastic Planet (german)

 

Werner Boote movies: 

Population Boom (2013) 

and the new documentary 

Everything´s Under Control (2015)

 

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