Thursday, February 13, 2020


A person standing next to a river

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Grammy®-nominated artist and environmental activist Jackson Browne among co-executive producers

NEW YORK, NY – February 13, 2020 – Just ahead of 2020 Earth Day, Discovery Channel will air THE STORY OF PLASTIC, a look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people that inhabit it.   Spanning three continents, the film illustrates the ongoing catastrophe: fields full of garbage, veritable mountains of trash; rivers and seas clogged with waste; and skies choked with the poisonous emissions from plastic production and processing.

An official selection of Mill Valley Film Festival (Audience Award winner) and 2019 DOC NYC, THE STORY OF PLASTIC features interviews with experts and activists on the frontlines of the fight, revealing the disastrous consequences of the flood of plastic smothering ecosystems and poisoning communities around the world –and the global movement rising up in response. With engaging original animation, archival industry footage starting in the 1930s, and first-person accounts of the unfolding emergency, the film distills a complex problem that is increasingly affecting the planet’s and its residents well-being.

THE STORY OF PLASTIC will debut in honor of Earth Day, exact programming details forthcoming.

It was always a priority for us to find the film a home that would amplify the important messages and voices in THE STORY OF PLASTIC,” states filmmaker Deia Schlosberg, “and Discovery is an ideal partner to make that happen. We are absolutely thrilled to work with the team there to bring the film to audiences across the U.S. and beyond.”

“I have been passionate about this issue for over ten years. The Story of Plastic’s film team has worked tirelessly to show us the truth of what plastic is doing to our planet - the whole planet,” explains co-executive producer and award-winning musician Jackson Browne.   “I am proud to be a part of bringing this important film to Discovery.”

THE STORY OF PLASTIC shines a light on the environmental damage and human rights abuses that occur throughout the entire life cycle of plastic - not just once it’s disposed of. The messaging around plastic has for decades been controlled by the plastic producers, who have deliberately focused on plastic waste. The film reveals how the plastics industry is simultaneously blaming wasteful consumers for plastic pollution and aggressively investing to produce more single-use plastic than ever before. Reclaiming the narrative, the film highlights that while cleanup is important to understanding the situation, the real solution lies in stopping the mass production of plastic in the first place.  “The plastic crisis doesn't start when the plastics enter the ocean. It starts when the oil and the gas leave the wellhead, and it keeps on being a problem at every step along the way,” says film subject Carroll Muffett of Center for International Environmental Law.

Beyond illuminating the nature of the crisis, THE STORY OF PLASTIC spotlights the global resistance and network of every-day heroes working internationally to combat this urgent problem, including Capt. Charlie Moore (Algalita Marine Research & Education) who discovered the North Pacific Garbage Patch,  Ellen and Elise Gerhart of Pennsylvania who protested the construction of a fracked gas pipeline through their family’s property, and Yvette Arellano (Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services), who supports communities sitting at the fence-line of the petrochemical corridor along the gulf coast.

The Story of Plastic forcefully identifies a pressing global challenge first identified around 15 years ago.  The film highlights how the actions of one group can affect not only their world but the world of their neighbors on the other side of the globe.  As activist Shibu K. Nahir explains, “Look at our globe: it's a water world... So if you imagine that we are in a womb filled with water, whatever I do here is going to affect every single life form in this earth... Whether a person in Europe or in US or in India or in Africa or in Philippines or in Indonesia, it's a life... We need to bring in that kind of a spirit of unity across boundaries, because these toxins do not understand political boundaries.”

Discovery Channel presents THE STORY OF PLASTIC, presented by The Story Of Stuff Project in association with React To Film; original music by Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) and Cody Westheimer; directed by Deia Schlosberg; produced by Kyle Cadotte, Megan Ponder and Stiv Wilson; co-executive producers, Dianna Cohen, Jackson Browne, and Seven McDonald; Executive Produced by Stiv Wilson, Coralie Charriol-Paul & Dennis Paul, and Michael O'Heaney. 

About Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 88.3 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 224 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the peoples, places, and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit

About Discovery
Discovery, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is a global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world. Available in 220 countries and territories and nearly 50 languages, Discovery is a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio of apps; direct-to-consumer streaming services such as Eurosport Player and MotorTrend OnDemand; digital-first and social content from Group Nine Media and a strategic alliance with PGA TOUR to create the international home of golf. Discovery’s portfolio of premium brands includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, and Science Channel, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. For more information, please visit and follow @DiscoveryIncTV across social platforms.

Story of Stuff Project
THE STORY OF PLASTIC is presented by The Story of Stuff Project, a nonprofit dedicated to changing the way that we make, use, and throw away Stuff to be more sustainable, healthy, and fair. Since 2007 the nonprofit's nine award-winning animated videos have garnered more than 50 million online views around the world and inspired a million-member global community to take action for systemic change. 

The film documents the #BreakFreeFromPlastic movement, a group of over 1500 NGOs worldwide, working in solidarity. Outreach partners include Greenpeace, Center For International Environmental Law, Plastic Pollution Coalition, The Surfrider Foundation, The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives and Oceana.

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