UC Berkeley Library

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Using the Library during COVID-19

During the pandemic, many of our services are being offered in new ways. To find the latest information on course reserves, book returns, 24/7 online help, and more, visit our COVID-19 portal, which provides more up-to-date information than the text below.

Waste & Recycling

Addicted to Plastic

A lively, engrossing look at everything plastic: the many forms it takes; its history and evolution as a 20th Century mainstay; and, above all, its massive environmental impact. Filmed in 12 countries over three years, the film reveals the worldwide scope of plastics pollution, examines its toxicity and explores practical and cutting-edge solutions to recycling, toxicity and biodegradability. Produced & directed by Ian Connacher. 2007. 85 min. (also includes 53 min. version)


Follows the paper recycling process in Buenos Aires from the trash pickers who collect paper informally through middlemen in warehouses, to executives in large corporate mills. The process exploded into a multimillion dollar industry after Argentina's latest economic collapse. The film is both a record of an economic and social crisis and an invitation to audiences to rethink the value of trash. Written and directed by Ernesto Livon-Grosman. Presented at the International Latino Film Festival held in the San Francisco Bay Area. 2007.

Garbage Dreams: Raised in the Trash Trade.

Follows three teenage boys born into the trash trade and growing up in the world's largest garbage village, on the outskirts of Cairo. It is the home to 60,000 Zaballeen, Arabic for "garbage people" Far ahead of any modern "Green" initiatives, the Zaballeen survive by recycling 80 percent of the garbage they collect. When their community is suddenly faced with the globalization of its trade, each of the teenage boys is forced to make choices that will impact his future and the survival of his community. Produced and directed by Mai Iskander. 2009. 79 min.

Garbage Stories.

These 5 features look at various creative ways garbage can be recycled and otherwise diverted from landfills. Examples of innovative recycling are the creation of art objects from garbage, a wildlife sanctuary developed from recycled wastewater, a farmer who feeds his pigs and goats entirely on refuse and a sculpture garden created from the solid wastes of the city of San Francisco. 1993. 27 min.

Garbage!: The Revolution Starts at Home

Examines the problem posed by the vast amounts of garbage produced in the industrialized world and the effects of this output on nature, by following an average urban family in Toronto -- and the garbage they produce over a three month period. As they discover where their garbage goes and at what cost to the environment, the viewer is encouraged to revolutionize their lifestyle for the sake of future generations. Directed by Andrew Nisker. Dist.: The Video Project. c2007. 76 min.

Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage

Explores the history and politics of garbage and recycling, from the 1800s to the post-World War II era of consumption and up through the contradictions of modern day recycling. Using interviews, scenes from massive dumps, and archival footage, the film discusses the links between modern industrial production, consumer culture, and our disposable lifestyle. Produced and directed by Heather Rogers. 2002. 19 min.

Loja: ciudad ecologica y saludable

In the last decade the city of Loja, Ecuador has transformed itself into an "ecologically healthy" city. A surprising 95% of the population meets the goals of the recycling program. Loja now reuses all organic waste and over 50% of inorganic waste. In Spanish without subtitles. 2003. 17 min.

No Deposit-No Return (Fueling the Future; 4).

Surveys a recycling renaissance that is taking place, from Oregon 's pioneering statewide effort, to a Philadelphia project which provides income for poor urban residents. The program illuminates the obstacles that remain to more widespread recycling. c1988. 60 min.
Full-text review from:ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

Plastic Planet

It is the Age of Plastic. It's cheap, practical, and everywhere. But is it dangerous? Viewers are taken on a journey around the globe, from the Moroccan Sahara to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, from a factory in China to the Alps to reveal the far-flung reaches of the plastic problem. Interviews with experts in biology, pharmacology, and genetics shed light on the perils of plastic to the environment and expose the truth of how plastic affects the body, and the health of future generations. Director, Werner Boote. c2011. 99 min.


Analyzes the causes and effects of the seemingly innocuous act of 'taking out the garbage', while showcasing the individuals, activists, corporate and advocacy groups working to affect change and reform the current model. Directed and produced by Bill Kirkos. 2006. 60 min.