documentary hack

History 101: Plastics

Bruce Kennedy

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

History 101: Plastics is a crash course in how this ubiquitous material came to dominate our lives in less than a century, the damage it's caused, and how we can fix it.


History 101: Plastics

History 101: Plastics

by Bruce Kennedy


Plastics make modern life possible. From life-saving medical devices to the humble grocery bag, the material is a part of nearly every object we touch, use, and wear.

But for all the good plastic does, humanity has seen its harmful side-effects in just a few short decades. It takes hundreds of years for plastic to disintegrate. But instead of recycling, much of it ends up in the ocean, where it kills wildlife and enters our food chain and therefore, our bodies.

History 101 is a ten-episode Netflix series on topics ranging from feminism to the space race. Producer-director Dick Bower and writer Bruce Kennedy are non-fiction storytelling veterans who combine graphic visuals and remarkable archival footage to explain complex subjects in easily digestible ways.

Favorite quote

Almost every piece of plastic ever made still exists today.

- Bruce Kennedy

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