In the trailer for his documentary Albatross, filmmaker Chris Jordan shares haunting images of seabirds whose lives were cut short because of plastic. The documentary, filmed on Midway Island in the North Pacific Ocean, situated 2,000 miles from the nearest continent, aims to shine a light on the critical issue of plastic pollution and its many victims.
The heartbreaking footage includes shots of decaying birds with their stomachs completely filled with plastic trash. Young albatross chicks are pictured surrounded by waste, trying to fit into this terrifying and distinctively modern background.
Jordan hopes that his documentary will force people to engage with the problem. Speaking to the Guardian earlier this year, he shared that he wants people to watch the film “and feel sadness and rage and realize that comes from a place of love. Don’t pull the plug out of the bathtub just yet; don’t let all that raw emotion drain away. Once you feel love, you can be more courageous and make more radical choices.”
“There’s something so archetypal about these legendary birds and seeing bright colors of ocean plastic against dead sterility is a powerful symbol for our human culture right now,” Jordan said. “We’re in a state of emotional bankruptcy.”
Over eight years, Jordan spent 94 days capturing more than 400 hours of footage. The images of animals killed by our own waste are shocking – and it is a shock that we desperately need, now that approximately 1 million birds a year die from plastic. And that is just one of the many consequences of plastic pollution.
“This material lasts forever, yet we throw it away after a single use. But it’s not as simple as inspiring individuals to make small changes. We have to acknowledge that individuals cannot make a difference,” the filmmaker explained. “When 100 million people decide to do something differently, THAT is when real change happens.”
To find some tips on how you can join the change by ditching disposable plastics, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign.