The film “The Graduate” was released in 1967 and provided us with one of the most memorable movie quotes of all time – Dustin Hoffman’s character is pulled aside right at the beginning of the movie by a friend of his parents who wants to share a piece of advice, “One word, plastics.” This bizarrely prophetic piece of historic cinema dialogue set the tone for the unusual storyline that was to follow, but also served as a metaphor for the larger decision faced by the baby boomers who came of age in the 1960s – conform, or rebel? Dustin Hoffman’s character in “The Graduate” is overwhelmed by the decisions that he must face as he enters society as a young adult, and the “plastics” quote represents the older generation imploring him to conform and embrace the consumptive attitude that comes along with the plastics industry (if you disagree with my interpretation of this classic film, please let me know in the comments section below!).
Now, 50 years later, we are dealing with the impacts of more than half a century of accumulated plastic pollution. Today’s guest, Marcus Eriksen, founded an organization tasked with addressing the many pervasive threats that plastics pose to wildlife and ecosystems all around the globe.
The issue of plastic pollution in our oceans has been getting more and more attention recently, and Marcus Eriksen, co-founder of the 5 Gyres Institute has been at the forefront of this movement for almost a decade. The 5 Gyres Institute was launched back in 2008 with a research voyage across the Pacific Ocean, which was conducted on a small raft made with over 15,000 plastic bottles and a variety of other re-purposed plastic materials.
Tags: 5 gyres, graduate plastics, junk raft, marcus eriksen, ocean plastic, plastic, plastic pollution, plastics