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Plastic Paradise

Thousands of miles away from civilization, Midway Atoll is in one of the most remote places on earth. And yet it's become ground zero for The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, syphoning plastics from three distant continents. In this independent documentary film, journalist/filmmaker Angela Sun travels on a personal journey of discovery to uncover this mysterious phenomenon. Along the way she meets scientists, researchers, influencers, and volunteers who shed light on the effects of our rabid plastic consumption and learns the problem is more insidious than we could have ever imagined.

'This is an issue of vast scales. I strongly recommend this film as an instructional tool to connect ecology, communication, and global service. Plastic Paradise engages students by illustrating how their everyday interactions with plastic are connected to pollution at the farthest, most exotic corners of the world. Students will learn the unexpected economic and ecological facets of plastic pollution and ways for each of us to minimize our plastic footprint. Angela Sun provides an excellent model of how one curious person can use her talents to follow her interests, speak from the heart, and contribute to improving the world. The voyage she completes can motivate students to discover more about pollution of all kinds on their own. By doing so, this film will inspire young people to act as global citizens and contribute to finding solutions for the major environmental problems of the coming century.' Timothy Hoellein, Aquatic Ecologist, Assistant Professor of Biology, Loyola University

'With fantastic archival footage, revealing modern images from the pacific and thoughtful, fact-based explanation, Plastic Paradise provides an educational, hip, and very entertaining look at some of the many ways plastic is affecting us all. I highly recommend checking this film out!' Dr. Mike SanClements, Staff Scientist, The National Ecological Observatory Network, Affiliate Faculty, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado-Boulder

'Sun's documentary sends a clear and coherent message about one of the major environmental problems we face today. Her film articulates this message in a way that will resonate with anyone that cares about nature and the environment. This is a documentary that should be seen by educators, students, politicians, and environmentalists alike. Amazing work!' Dr. Garen Baghdasarian, Professor of Biology, Chair of Life Sciences, Santa Monica College

'Filmmaker Angela Sun tells a compelling story about the plethora of harmful impacts associated with non-degradable plastic, particularly in regard to the marine environment, while recognizing that the properties of plastic have enhanced our quality of life in many ways. The film's haunting message highlights the importance of society transitioning to the existing truly biodegradable polymers wherever possible and as soon as possible.' Dr. Kirk J. Havens, Director, Coastal Watersheds Program, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary

'I believe that this film portrays the state of the plastic marine debris issue accurately. Once in the ocean there is really no way to get it out, other than hope that it washes up on a shore and is collected. Then what? Recycle, bury, what to do with it? The big problem is that it is all about money, profits. To the best of my knowledge there has been no life cycle analysis of plastic. Even if there was, how do we put a price on an albatross? A dead seal or sea lion? An endangered sea turtle? This is one of the easiest visualizations of how humans (not all, but many) have lost connection with the environment--a sad state of affairs--but the truth.' William J. Cooper, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Director of the Urban Water Research Center, University of California-Irvine

'A fun and well-balanced introduction to a complex environmental topic. Drawing from the expertise of a diversity of scientists, activists and management practitioners in the field, this film introduces its audience to issues regarding plastic production and waste-management, plastic contamination in the ocean and the hazards of plastic and its chemical cocktail to humans and wildlife.' Dr. Chelsea M. Rochman, Smith Fellow in Conservation Biology, Marine Ecologist/Ecotoxicologist, Aquatic Health Program, University of California Davis

'Plastic Paradise offers new and sharpened perspectives on the problem of plastics in the environment. It includes a good history of the genesis of the plastics industry from materials shortages during World War II, and demonstrates that things put in the environment (such as a message in a bottle) can stick around for a long time and move great distances. This film makes the case that the only solution is source control, and that consumers have a great deal of underutilized power.' Dr. Joel Baker, Director, UW Puget Sound Institute, Professor and Port of Tacoma Chair in Environmental Science, University of Washington Tacoma

'Angela Sun has found a way to present the imminent dangers of plastics pollution in a jarringly visual and inquisitive format...Significant take-home messages include a misconception of just how few plastic products are recyclable, and that plastics production will continue to increase as long as the demand for plastic products remains. The film takes a refreshing approach of avoiding the blame game, while emphasizing that learning about the issue can lead to less plastic use by the general public.' Dr. Patricia Corcoran, Associate Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Western Ontario

'Angela Sun spoke with all the right people and even went to places she wasn't supposed to go in order to present the full story on plastic pollution. The film is excellent--in its timeliness, its depth, and its presentation. I watched the film with some of my students so I can attest that it appeals to the younger generation. Plastic Paradise makes the issue of plastic pollution real and relevant. It provides valuable information and presents that information in an engaging and visually gripping way.' Dr. Sherri A. Mason, Professor of Chemistry, Environmental Sciences Program Coordinator, SUNY at Fredonia

'We are all familiar with trash, but most of us likely are unaware of indestructible plastic trash that pollutes the oceans, contaminates our seafood, kills birds, fish, and marine mammals as well as carrying toxic substances into the environment and our bodies. Plastic Paradise is an excellent, accessible, and troubling documentary that reveals these issues. My college age son thinks it is 'right on.' See it and share it with others!' Carl F. Cranor, Professor of Philosophy, Faculty of Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program, University of California-Riverside

'Plastic Paradise warns that the environment is everyone's responsibility, and that humanity cannot turn a blind eye to its own garbage forever. Highly recommended.' The Midwest Book Review

'Intriguing..chilling film...Journalist Angela Sun offers valuable new insights.' The Hollywood Reporter

'The film everyone needs to see.' Planetsave

'Sun offers a fresh, new voice for her generation and has made a film that can appeal to the masses.' Honolulu Pulse

'Offers some alarming information that might cause viewers to think twice about buying one-time-use water bottles.' The Boston Globe


Main credits

Sun, Angela (screenwriter)
Sun, Angela (film director)
Sun, Angela (film producer)
Soto, Tanya Leal (film producer)

Other credits

Lead editor, Wendy Shuey; cinemtaography, Francisco Aliwalas [and 6 others]; music by APM Music ... [and 6 others].

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

American Studies
Business Practices
Earth Science
Endocrine Disruptors
Global Issues
Life Science
Media Literacy
Oceans and Coasts
Pacific Studies
Toxic Chemicals


Angela Sun, consumption of plastics, Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Midway Atoll, plastic, pollution, gyre, Pacific gyre, Midway Atoll, war in the pacific, history of plastics, plastics in war and peace, BPA, endocrine disruptors, Frederick vom Saal, John Klavitter, Matt Brown, Captain Charles Moore, Rikeem Sholes, Lewis Goldsmith, Arnold Schwarznegger, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Gerry Fishbeck, Brian Porter, Andy Keller, Rolf Halden, Wailana, Elizabeth Keenan, Gregor Hodgson, Susie Holst, Marcus Eriksen, Noel Mendiola, Annette Horman, Indie Carbo, dianna Cohen, Anna Cummins, Kitt Doucette, Dave Rastovich, Wallace J Nichols, Lisa Boyle, Julia Brownley, Gretchen Bleiler, Jack Johnson, Micah Mendiola, Daniel McGregor, Raquel Long, Matthew Long, Greg Stone, Peter Seligmann, Algalita Marine Research and Education, plastic nets, microplastics, albatross, indicator species, recycling, single use plastics, consumer power, American Chemistry Council, ACC, Society of the Plastics Industry, SPI, bag monster.; "Plastic Paradise"; Bullfrog Films

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