Apropos K

“Plastic Peter” urges audiences to handle plastic debris carefully

The short film produced in connection with the seas and oceans science year draws people’s attention to marine debris and is now being shown in cinemas with immediate effect.

The German Ministry of Education and Research aims to increase awareness of contamination of the world’s oceans by plastic debris with the cinema commercial “Plastic Peter” produced in connection with the 2016*17 science year – seas and oceans. Several million tonnes of plastic debris end up in the sea every year and have for a long time now been a major hazard for plants and creatures: in 2050, the weight of the plastic debris in oceans might already be higher than the weight of all marine fish.

The commercial can now be seen in cinemas all over Germany. “Plastic Peter” describes his particularly long-lasting catch as “fresh straight from the sea” at the fish market: what he is talking about is plastic debris. While plastic bags only take a maximum of 20 years to disintegrate, standard PET bottles last as long as 450 years in the sea.

German government is promoting the development of solutions

The German Ministry of Education and Research is supporting the systematic investigation of plastic debris: from production, consumption and transport from land into the sea to its destination in the oceans around our planet. With the “Plastic in the environment” funding initiative, it has made a total of EUR 28 million available for research and development projects. In the course of the seas and oceans science year, the German Ministry would also like to increase public awareness of the issue – with such projects as the “Plastic Peter” film. 

The debris that can be seen in the commercial was collected from the shores of the River Elbe by conservationists from Greenpeace and NABU before production of the film began. The film appeals to audiences to reduce the use of plastic in their day-to-day lives and to help to protect marine life as a result.

Comprehensive information available for everyone interested

The film “Plastic Peter” can be seen at the cinema or on the science year website at www.wissenschaftsjahr.de/plastik with immediate effect. Important background information about marine contamination by plastic debris as well as helpful tips about how to deal with plastic debris properly in everyday life can be found there too.

2016*17 science year – seas and oceans

Marine research is the focus in the 2016*17 science year. Oceans and seas cover 71 per cent of our planet. They are a climate engine, a source of food, an economic area – and they provide many plants and animals with a habitat to live in. Although scientists have been investigating the oceans for centuries, they remain mysterious and large proportions of them have not been explored yet. The 2016*17 science year – seas and oceans is concentrating on exploration, protection and sustainable use of marine waters. The science years are an ongoing project carried out by the German Ministry of Education and Research together with the organisation Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD). They are a key instrument in the communication of research science to the public. The 2016*17 science year is being supported by the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM) as its expert partner.