“Plastico” is a crisp little activist film. It feels odd to write a movie review for a six-minute film, but films like this don’t get enough attention, not the least of which is praising the effectiveness of getting in, getting out, boom, it’s done. In six minutes, it communicates its message, its example of action, its results, its encouragement for others to act. It demonstrates the way community spirit can blossom and multiply benefits.
Without too much wagging of numbers in our world of dire problems, “Plastico” shows how in two years a small group of regular people removed 250 tons of plastic – like, 9 million bottles – from a 60 mile stretch of coastline. This casually-started family business now employs six full-time workers.
Erwing Rodriguez Ibarra returned to the town in Mexico where he lived until his parents moved to the United States. He hitched his bicycle to an American couple and helped create the Azulita Project, a recycling business. The region had no garbage collection program, plastic was routinely burned, and thrown-away plastic accumulated with plastic that just washes onto the beach from the ocean.
In a six-minute film, “Plastico” shows what can be accomplished if you decide to just do it.
Note: The Wild & Scenic Film Festival showcases many short-form films. Among them is a perennial set of quickies collectively known as The New Environmentalists. Each year they spotlight winners of The Goldman Prize, which honors individual activists. Their devotions tend to be more fraught and complicated than the Plastico project. Nonetheless, hurrah for such activists and such short short films.