Leanne Koehn with the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society will be part of a Zoom panel discussion on plastic. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

UPDATE: Free film for Ridge residents to mark Plastic Free July extended another week

The Story of Plastic can be viewed for free on any device until July 21

A documentary that follows the impact of plastic around the world will be shown for free for an additional week, to recognize Plastic Free July

The Story of Plastic, released this year on Earth Day, takes an international view of the whole process of plastic from extraction, to processing, to where it ends up in the world, and its impact on humans and the environment.

When Kirk Grayson, with the Maple Ridge Climate Hub – an organization putting on the event in partnership with the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society – first saw the movie she described it as mindboggling.

“What stood out for me the first time I watched it was just how grotesque it was the mountains of litter that wash onto shores of countries where the country doesn’t have the infrastructure and the ability to deal with things like this,” she explained.

“How would I feel about that if that was happening in Burrard Inlet,” asked the environmentalist.

READ MORE: Plastic, the gift that keeps on giving

One of the big takeaways from the film for Leanne Koehn with the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society was how nobody really thinks about what plastic is, where it comes from, who’s making it and why.

“The movie really showed how much of a bigger issue it is and how we really need to address that,” she said.

Plastic Free July started in Australia in 2011 as a month of awareness about ocean plastics.

READ MORE: No problem recycling plastic in Ridge

It came onto Koehn’s radar about five years ago when she started recognizing the month. Now it is a worldwide event.

The month is to raise awareness, noted Koehn, about how much plastic people use. And, she said, she is encouraged about how many action plans for the reduction of plastic have come about in recent years from all levels of government.

A panel discussion took place on Tuesday, July 14, moderated by Grayson, that featured an in-depth discussion about the film with Koehn and Jennifer Henry of Perk Eco Inc., a company that shows businesses how to recycle efficiently.

The Story of Plastic can now be viewed until 11:30 p.m. on July 21.

Anyone wishing to see the movie can register online at Eventbrite or on the Maple Ridge Climate Hub Facebook page and an access code for the movie will be sent to you.

Grayson was most disturbed by what one activist intervied in the movie said, which was that children born today will not have a memory of a clean planet.

“That kills me,” she said.



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