Will Pharrell’s Documentary ‘The Plastic Age’ Help Lessen Our Plastic Addiction?

Pharrell Williams has joined the fight to save our oceans. He talks about his love for the oceans and our need to save them in a new i-D documentary, The Plastic Age.  Let’s face it, how can anyone not like Pharrell, a man whose music impacts countless millions of fans? Clearly, Pharrell knows how get a message out.

His message, let’s turn ocean plastic into something fantastic! This is a very good thing.

He has joined forces with Bionic Yarn to produce a fashion line of denim clothing, G-STARR RAW which is made from recycled plastic trash.  Pharrell is a celebrity joining forces with other talented people to find a solution to a very significant worldwide environmental problem. This is also a very good thing.

The question is, will his efforts motivate enough people to focus on the kind of change needed to meet this global problem head on? Sadly, I think not.

I began writing about the worldwide addiction to all things plastic, mostly single-use plastic bags, in 2008. The devastation caused to birds, animals on land as well as creatures in the sea is unconscionable.  Plastic pollution harms people in the poorest countries the most. These are people without a voice who suffer incredible hardships, as the 17 pictures from The Guardian on-line demonstrate.

Chemicals from the plastics are entering the marine food chain.  Bisphenol –A, a chemical used in the production of plastics is a known carcinogen and hormone disruptor. The New York Times  recently reported that BPA has been linked to rapid rises in blood pressure. It is known to be especially harmful to infants.

I believed once people were alerted to the unimaginable environmental damage caused by plastic pollution change would surely take place. I was wrong.

Our worldwide addiction to plastics is much stronger than could be imagined. But even stronger is the reluctance of people to give up their single-use plastic bags and bottles because it inconveniences them.

Since the time of the cavemen, trash has been thrown out with little thought of its impact on the environment. That was okay when the earth was inhabited by a few million people.

With the world’s population approaching 9 billion people, this behavior is no longer acceptable.