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Highly anticipated ‘Story of Plastic’ documentary film to be premiered on the Discovery Channel as part of Earth Day celebrations

20 Apr 2020

Finally, the full story of plastic is being brought to the big and small screen and will be premiered by the Discovery Channel on April 22nd to mark the release. Hundreds of environmental groups will be holding community screenings across the world in the coming weeks.

Environmentalists are thrilled to announce that the Discovery Channel will premiere this ground breaking new documentary. The Story of Plastic film takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution, from extraction of fossil fuels to plastic waste replacing fish in our Oceans. The film follows the journey of plastic while also examining the worldwide effect it has on both the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it.

Mindy O’Brien, Coordinator of VOICE Ireland, says;

“We are so excited to see this film bringing the full story of plastic to mainstream attention. Individuals, for the most part, only interact with plastic in the shops and when they try to figure out which bin to put it into. We focus on the impact plastic has when lost in the environment and appears as litter.  Most of us don’t equate plastic with oil or gas, but this is where plastic begins.”

Spanning three continents, The Story of Plastic illustrates the ongoing catastrophe: fields full of plastic waste, veritable mountains of rubbish clogging rivers and seas, and skies choked with the poisonous emissions from plastic production and processing. The disastrous consequences resulting from the flood of plastic that is smothering ecosystems and poisoning communities around the world, and the global movement that is rising up in response is revealed.

Here in Ireland, where each of us generates 61 kg of plastic packaging waste per person, we are the largest producer of plastic packaging waste in Europe. To address this, the Sick of Plastic campaign has been gaining strength since launching in 2018, supporting citizens who are demanding action on single-use plastic from supermarkets and government.

Ireland also has a particular role to play in this global story as we continue the fight against fossil fuel infrastructure.Ireland made history in 2017 with a ban on fracking on-shore for gas, but our neighbours up north are still battling against fracking and we still have drilling for fossil fuels off-shore in the Atlantic Ocean. More recent events that ties into the Story of Plastic narrative is the debate around Shannon LNG – a Liquefied Natural Gas terminal which plans to bring fracked gas into Ireland from the USA.

Meaghan Carmody, Gas campaigner at Friends of the Earth, says;

"By importing fossil gas to Ireland that has been fracked elsewhere, injustice is being offshored. Fracking takes place in communities already on the margins of society; rural or low-income communities and communities of colour. The story of plastic is about environmental and social justice. People somewhere will pay the price if gas is imported via Shannon LNG. They'll pay with their health, and we will collectively the pay the price in terms of the impacts on the climate. This extractivism must be stopped at the source." 

Claudia Tormey from Friends of the Earth says;

“It’s time we joined the dots on plastic and put more emphasis on fossil fuel extraction as a way to turn off the tap on single use plastics. The film powerfully illustrates the reality where the fossil fuel industry, which in fact owns and dictates the plastic production industry, is pushing the increase of single use plastics. The fracking boom in America is driving the plastic production in the UK and Europe, and the waste is piling up in places like the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.”

Following the premier, members of the global Break Free From Plastic movement will be hosting community screenings in countries across the world. The Sick of Plastic campaign, which is jointly led by VOICE Ireland and Friends of the Earth, is planning to host a screening for the Irish audience online on May 12th and 13th followed by an online panel discussion on the plastic and fossil fuel story and actions to combat the problem from an Irish perspective on May 14th.

Angela Kenny, campaign coordinator for Sick of Plastic, says;

The Sick of Plastic Campaign has been working hard over the past two years to send the message to producers and supermarkets that we do not want the single use plastic that is being pushed into our hands as we shop. We are delighted to be able to bring this film to Irish audiences to further highlight why our campaign is so important and why we must continue our fight against single use plastics.

Details and registration to attend the Sick of Plastic screening and discussion will be released soon. Be first to hear about this event by signing up to the campaign mailing list here: or contact

The Story of Plastic is the story BIG PLASTIC does not want you to see. Make sure to tune into Discovery on April 22nd at 7pm. It’s time to break free from plastic, and fossil fuels!


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