Trashed

Health, Water, Waste
Screening Date: January 20, 2017
We buy it, we bury it, we burn it and then we ignore it. Does anyone think about what happens to all the trash we produce? We keep making things that do not break down. What happens to the billion or so tons of waste that goes unaccounted for each year. On a boat in the North Pacific Jeremy Irons faces the reality of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the effect of plastic waste on marine life. We learn that chlorinated dioxins and other man-made Persistent Organic Pollutants are attracted to the plastic fragments. These are eaten by fish, which absorb the toxins. We then eat the fish, accumulating more poisonous chemicals in our already burdened bodies. Meanwhile, global warming, accelerated by these emissions from landfill and incineration, is melting the ice-caps and releasing decades of these old poisons, which had been stored in the ice, back into the sea. And we learn that some of the solutions are as frightening and toxic as the problem itself.