After watching the movie, The Story of Plastic (link on the class web site), answer three of the
following seven questions. Each answer must be at least 250 words long. While you can include
your opinion, your answers should be primarily fact-based, drawing on the content of the movie
and material in readings. You may (but are not obligated to) refer to outside sources (e.g. a
newspaper story youve read).
1. The movie opens with the quotation, The future of plastics is in the trash can. What does
this quotation mean?
2. Who are the stakeholders, or claims-makers (revisit the Hansen reading from 9/14 for a
reminder) when it comes to the issue of plastic waste? What claims is each of them making?
3. What role does the fracking boom play in the growth of plastics?
4. Only 2% of plastic is effectively recycled. What does that mean? What happens to the other
98%? Why? What are the consequences of this?
5. At a recycling center in India, one of the interviewees says, The entire economy around
recycling is possible because we have poverty. What does this quote mean?
6. What obligations do plastic producers have to deal with the disposal phase of plastic?
7. Carroll Muffett, with the Center for International Environmental Law, says To a far greater
extent than in any other product chain, plastics are driven not by the demand for them but by
the supply. Explain what he means by that.