Sustainability Management at Syracuse University and student groups Students of Sustainability and Green Peace SU will be hosting a panel discussion on plastic pollution at 5:30pm followed by a free screening of “A Plastic Ocean” at 6:45pm on March 29 in Watson Theater, in Watson Hall.

For filming “A Plastic Ocean,” an international team of adventurers, researches and ocean ambassadors came together to explore our disposable lifestyles on a global scale. The team spent four years and traveled to 20 locations around the world in order to document the global effects that plastic pollution generates. The documentary not only shows the shocking impact of our disposable lifestyle on marine life and human health, but also introduces practical technology and policy solutions that can make our earth better.

“Over 100 million pounds of plastic are disposed of each year in Onondaga County alone,” said Andrew Radin. “Many plastics are recyclable, but too often they end up in the trash, or end up as litter in our community. I’m interested in tackling one of the main culprits: plastic bags.”

Regarded as an epic global adventure, “A Plastic Ocean” investigates how human beings’ addiction to plastic is affecting the global food chain and how that impacts every one of us through developing human health problems. “Wild animals will often try to eat whatever looks like food–including plastic, which they cannot digest”, said Amanda Gabryszak. “It’s sad. No matter how many times you see it, it never gets easier to see an animal suffering. At the larger scale, if plastic is in the wildlife, it’s in us. It’s an interconnected issue”.

Join Amanda Gabryszak, a licensed New York State Wildlife Rehabilator, Andrew Radin Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA), Director of Recycling and Waste Reduction, and Tom Rhoads, Commissioner of the Department of Water Environment Protection for Onondaga County for the panel discussion. The panelists will discuss their work experiences with plastics and how it can create issues for their specific area of expertise.

Refreshments will be provided by Sustainability Management. This is a waste-free event; attendees are encouraged to bring their own mugs, cups or plates to minimize the amount of trash generated during the gathering. Fruit, apple cider and cookies will be provided.

To preview “A Plastic Ocean”, watch the trailer here:, the film is 102 minutes long.

The event is free and open to the public. Visitors can park in Booth Garage (cost is $5), located on Comstock Avenue, and use the Waverly Avenue entrance to Watson Hall to gain access to the theater.  Anyone who holds an SU parking pass can park in any Orange lot for free after 4 p.m., which includes Booth Garage. To view a detailed map of SU, Watson Hall and Booth Garage, please visit

For more information about sustainability at SU, visit the SU Sustainability website, follow @SustainableSU on Twitter and check out the Syracuse University Sustainability Facebook page.

Story by Jiangyifan Ke G’17, a public relations intern with Sustainability Management