Documentary to explore profound effects of plastic on ecosystems and human health

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 our University on Monday 20 March.

Our 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.

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.

Dr Nina Jordan from the 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 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 Bennett Building (Lecture Theatre 1) on Monday 20 March at 17:30PM.

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