(52 min) Germany/Bulgaria/Turkey

SUNDAY 10/22, 4:50 PM (SESSION 8)
[watch trailer]

Directors: Tom Costello, Benedict Wermter
Producer: Tristan Chytroschek


What really happens to our plastic waste once we put it in the recycling bin? As the plastic pollution crisis has become an international scandal, the biggest consumer goods brands on earth have declared they have a solution: recycling. But our plastic packaging is still more likely to end up being burned or dumped than recycled. We show how the oil, packaging and consumer goods industries spin the recycling fairytale to allow them to continue polluting without consequence. As we all pick up the bill for a world drowning in plastic, the film asks: who is getting rich?


Tom Costello produces and directs documentary films on contemporary subjects for the major British broadcasters, including the BBC, Channel 4, VICE and others, specializing in long-form, character-led explorations of unknown worlds. He has embedded with Britain’s far-right street movements, radical Islamists, vigilantes, underground animal rights activists, narco gangs in Mexico and clandestine drug producers. He has also conducted major agenda-setting investigations into Russian money laundering in the City of London and dark money lobbying in Britain. His films have been featured in the Guardian, Times, New York Times, Daily Mail, Financial Times and others.

Benedict Wermter is a journalist, author and director. He investigates the circular economy with a focus on lobbyism, greenwash and fraud. His stories about fast fashion, plastic industries and waste businesses have been published by media across Europe and Asia. Benedict has won several awards for his feature stories and documentaries. Recently, he published a book about the plastic industry and he is running the environmental education platform @bulesampah on social media.

Tristan Chytroschek has worked as a producer and director for the BBC and Channel Four in Great Britain and for Discovery/TLC in the US. He has lived and worked in London, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Cordoba/Argentina, before he returned to his native Germany. Since 2004 he is co-owner of a&o buero.

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