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Documentary of plastic pollution crisis on screen
Jenna Duong 22:28, 2022/09/23
The film sheds light on an industry that profits from the plastic pollution crisis instead of solving it.

A documentary film on environmental protection entitled “The Recycling Myth” by Tom Costello and Benedikt Wermter will be on screen for the public at 7:00 PM on September 29 at Goethe Institut, Hanoi.

The poster of "The Recycling Myth" documentary film. Photo: Goethe Institut Hanoi

The film is a contribution from Germany to the “#It’s Time to Act-A Nature Film Festival” that is underway until October 7 in Vietnam.

According to international film critic, “The Recycling Myth” sheds light on an industry that profits from the plastic pollution crisis instead of solving it.

Packaging is increasingly being labeled “100% recyclable” to give us a clear conscience. But what happens to our plastic waste after we throw it away? The answer to this question is appalling since only 9% of plastic packaging is recycled! This raises concerns that recycling is merely “greenwashing”.

The filmmakers track down garbage brokers who illegally dump plastic waste abroad, industries that make money from burning garbage, and mafia networks that make as much money from garbage smuggling as they do from human trafficking.

A scene from the documentary. Photo: cbc.ca

Corporations that assure consumers that plastic waste is recyclable disguise the truth that plastic waste is not a valuable resource, but an expensive problem. The fact that 300 million tons of plastic or a plastic chain that would stretch three times around the globe, are produced each year emphasizes both the growing global problem of plastic waste and the relevance of this documentary.

According to Tom Costello, it took the filmmakers two years to do undercover research. They set up a fake company, complete with website and business cards, contacted waste brokers all over Europe via social networks, spoke to them on burner phones, and finally met some of them.

“Our research provides deep insights into a world where million-euro-deals are made via WhatsApp, where containers full of contaminated plastic waste are sent from country to country, and where no one bats an eyelid when plastic packaging from our recycling bins ends up dumped by a roadside somewhere far away.” He told German a&o buero Filmproduction.

“#It’s Time to Act-A Nature Film Festival” is initiated by the Spanish Embassy of Hanoi in collaboration with European and Latin American Embassies. NGO “WildAct” helps to publicize and attract audiences. The hybrid festival can be attended online and at the Goethe-Institut and Casa Italia in Hanoi.

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