A Wave of Change in Dorset

Film Screening of A Plastic Ocean.

Queen Elizabeth School in Wimborne was the venue for the latest screening of A Plastic Ocean – a film that has gained a huge following worldwide, and widespread publicity as it attempts to highlight the plight of our oceans, to educate and be part of the solution. The 200 strong audience gathered at the event hosted by Ecotainment to watch as images unfolded of the majesty of blue whales gracefully diving in the ocean. However, it was not long before scenes of destruction replaced these beautiful images as we saw dolphins caught up by tangled plastic cords and the seabed littered with discarded plastic bottles and debris. The plastic that doesn’t sink to the bottom gets broken down into tiny fragments of microplastics that then get mistaken for food by fish and eaten along with the plankton. This harmful ingested plastic then leeches chemicals into the stomachs of the fish and so it begins its infiltration into out food chain. The effects of this on humans are hormonal problems, reproductive problems, nervous system damage and kidney damage.

As well as damage to us, the harm that we are doing to our oceans and wildlife was none more evident than during scenes of a dead seabird being dissected to reveal over 200 pieces of plastic being pulled out of its stomach. Members of the audience were heard to gasp during this understandably disturbing scene, and some averted their gaze and hung their heads in shame. We know we are all to blame. When it comes to throwing away plastic – there is no ‘away’.

It was an evening of education and we learnt that more than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year! Packaging accounts for just over 40% of total plastic usage. Over 100 billion plastic beverage bottles are sold in the U.S alone each year. Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each with a “working life” of a mere 15 minutes.

Humans can’t exist without the oceans; they provide half our oxygen and absorb our carbon emissions. Plastic in the ocean is only part of a more comprehensive global pollution problem and Sustainable Dorset were at the event to raise awareness of the damage we are inflicting on Planet Earth, and to promote the good practice of sustainable projects from across the county. Sustainable Dorset were in the foyer alongside Dorset Wildlife Trust, Litterfree Coast & Sea, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and DEED, each were there to spread their own message as to what we can do to make the world a better place. This serves as a reminder that we are not powerless, we all have choices in how we consume and dispose of goods, and that we can put pressure on companies and demand change from government to tackle this problem, create a positive social change, and be part of the solution.

Take a look at our tips for Sustainable Living and see how you can reduce your plastic usage, and look out for future screenings coming to Dorset on our Events page.