The top 5 biggest plastic polluting nations on the planet are in South East Asia. With this in mind, film maker Jamie Lepre and environmental activist Paul Hellier embarked on an epic 5 week bicycle ride across Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. The result is an insightful and visually stunning documentary which not only highlights the tragic scale of this environmental catastrophe but celebrates this unique part of the globe and more so promotes the inspiring efforts of everyday locals who battle bureaucracy, apathy and indifference to educate others and push back against a burgeoning plastic tide.
They are like us, they recognise there is too much plastic in our lives and they are coming up with all sorts of mechanisms to clean up the environment and reduce the need for single-use plastic in their region. It gives up to us all that things are happening.
Paul and Jamie also attempt to travel responsibly, avoiding single-use plastic as they go. Even with the language and cultural barriers they show everything that this is achievable, and its also a lot of fun.
How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?
This project is, to a large degree, about empowering local environmental activists throughout SE Asia and providing them with a platform to highlight their concerns on a larger stage and show their positive actions to the world. As a recognised threat to ecosystems, communities and ultimately economies around the globe, it is crucial that the issue of single-use plastic pollution be addressed to ensure the well-being and prosperity of all affected by it, particularly those without political or economic influence. This, without doubt, falls into the remit of a philanthropic organisation.
It encourages people in places to Australia to get on board as well, we know the issues, so what are we going to do about it? Promoting action and change is at the heart of what philanthropy is about.
What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?
Aims & Objectives
The film aims to stigmatise single-use plastic and highlight the economic and social benefits that flow from an environment that is free of this type of pollution
The impact of the film will be measured, in part, through the consequent implementation of strategies (educational, legislative, and coercive) by governments, corporations, organisations, communities and individuals in South East Asia to significantly reduce the use and availability of single-use plastic items.
What is your education and outreach strategy?
The film is scheduled to premiere at the Transitions Film Festival in February/March 2019. It will then be made available free of charge for three months exclusively to Plastic Pollution activist groups worldwide to promote discussion and generate membership/revenue through ticketed regional premieres.In July of 2019 it is envisaged that the documentary will be made freely available as an online educational resource to anyone with access to the internet. This is timed to coincide with the filming of the second instalment of the series exploring (by bicycle) another aspect of the plastic pollution problem in a remote corner of the globe. At present we have a verbal agreement with prominent airlines for in-flight entertainment and television availability.