Documentary explores profound effects of plastic on ecosystems and human health

Posted by ap507 at Mar 15, 2017 09:55 AM |
Free public screening of ‘A Plastic Ocean’ to take place at the University of Leicester on Monday 20 March

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 15 March 2017

Listen to an interview with Professors Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams from the University of Leicester discussing how humans are reshaping our planet here: 

An image of the Earth surrounded by plastic is available here (credit Jonathan Sisson / University of Leicester):

The profound effects that plastic is having on marine ecosystems and human health around the world will be explored during a free public documentary showing at the University of Leicester on Monday 20 March.

The University of Leicester’s Environment Team and Department of Geology are proud to host a screening of ‘A Plastic Ocean’, a gripping feature-length documentary about the fate of plastic litter once it enters the oceans and food chain.

In ‘A Plastic Ocean’, an international team of adventurers, researchers, and Ocean ambassadors go on a mission around the globe to uncover the shocking truth about the effect of plastic on marine ecosystems and human health.

During its four-year production period, ‘A Plastic Ocean’ was filmed in 20 locations around the world in beautiful and chilling detail to document the global effects of plastic pollution – and introduce workable technology and policy solutions that can, if implemented in time, change things for the better.

Dr Nina Jordan from the University of Leicester Department of Geology said: “While plastic is incredibly useful and is now an intricate part of our life, it is time for more people to hear about some of the negative consequences that can result from its mindless use, such as pollution and the death of marine animals.

“We might be shooting ourselves in the foot with its use as the chemicals that fish and other marine life ingest in the form of plastic all end up in the food chain, including on our plate. These can give us anything from a stomach ache to kidney damage.

“Join us for an informative evening and inspiration as to what can be done about this.”

Sarah Roberts, from the University of Leicester Environment Team, added: “We are proud that the University of Leicester is working hard to reduce its waste consumption and we have saved 28 tonnes of mixed plastic from landfill this academic year through our recycling scheme. However, we can always do more and strive to increase our engagement with our students, staff and the local community on how we can protect our natural environment.”

‘A Plastic Ocean’ will be screened at the University of Leicester’s Bennett Building (Lecture Theatre 1) on Monday 20 March at 17:30PM.

An introduction to the topic will be provided by Professor Jan Zalasiewicz from the Department of Geology. Professor Zalasiewicz chairs the Anthropocene Working Group, the scientific body considering the case for creating a potential new epoch of geological time dominated by human impact on the Earth.

The working group recently released a report on the global impact of plastics, that also involved Professors Mark Williams and Colin Waters and PhD student Yasmin Yonan from the University of Leicester’s Department of Geology and Dr Matt Edgeworth of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History:

The event is free to attend and no booking is required. All are welcome.

More information and infographics are available here:


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Dr Nina Jordan on

‘A Plastic Ocean’

Director: Craig Leeson

Written by: Craig Leeson

With: Jo Ruxton, Tanya Streeter, Dr Lindsay Porter and Dr Bonnie Monteleone







Share this page: