Photo of a Turtle carrying plastic in the ocean

Ocean Pollution Research Informs New Film ‘Plastic Earth’

A documentary about the global plastic crisis debuted in February, informed by the work of researchers at U-M Climate & Space.

A feature length documentary about the global plastic crisis “Plastic Earth” debuted in February, informed by the work of researchers around the globe including those at the University of Michigan.

The documentary film features many of the heroes of the world who are working to solve the world’s plastic and environmental issues. The production included interviews and footage from faculty and student researchers at the U-M Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, including work by Professor Chris Ruf and Alumna Madeline Evans and others that uses data from the CYGNSS Mission to identify micro-plastics in the ocean.

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“Plastic Earth” is the first documentary feature film of its kind to cover the solutions and technologies being worked on in the world today to combat and eventually solve the global plastic crisis. Worldwide plastic production resulting from fossil-based sources continues to rise, contributing to climate change and pollution, and threatening the planet’s species.

“Plastic Earth” follows the story of a concerned mother, Janice Overbeck. She goes on a journey to learn the full story of this problem and to uncover what is happening in the background in order to find solutions. Through dozens of interviews with scientists, engineers, researchers, and innovators, the film offers first-hand insights on how people can work together to resolve the problem of plastic pollution.

“Plastic Earth” officially released for streaming on February 7, 2023. It is also available on demand. View the movie trailer:

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