New documentary ‘Wasted’ explores Asia’s mounting waste crisis — and how to tackle it

Launched as policymakers lock horns with petrochemicals lobbyists over a treaty to end plastic pollution, the documentary produced by Eco-Business asks why opportunities to solve humanity’s waste crisis are being wasted. It will premiere in Singapore and screen on the sidelines of the upcoming COP28 climate summit.

'Wasted' documentary

More than a week after a third round of negotiations for a global treaty to stop plastic pollution came to a disappointing close, a new documentary launches that explores the truth behind the waste industry. 

Negotiations for a binding global plastic agreement were stalled by lobbying from petrochemical and plastics industry-leaning governments, who are pushing for the treaty to focus solely on waste management rather than plastic production. The new film, titled “Wasted”, explores the role of “polluter pays” laws that hold corporations to account for the 280 million tonnes of short-lived plastic products that enter the environment every year.

“Why is waste ignored when it is staring us in the face? Maybe it is because the true impact is being hidden from us,” said Jessica Cheam, founder and managing director of Eco-Business, who co-produced the documentary with filmmaker Fraser Morton.

The film investigates the waste landscape in four key Asian countries for waste – Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and India – and explores the solutions needed to stem the flow of trash into the environment. “Solutions to tackle this blight exist in plain sight, so why are we wasting opportunities to make change?” said Cheam.

The film will premiere on 2 December at The Projector theatre in Singapore.

On 7 December, Eco-Business will also be hosting the documentary’s premiere on the sidelines of the COP28 climate meeting in Dubai, in partnership with CC Forum. The event will be held at Grand Hyatt Dubai. 

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