The Beginning & End of Plastic?

Talks and films on the River Lea: May 31 - June 2

Location: Hackney Wick 

East London (Hackney) played an important but little-known role in the early days of plastic. The ultimate impact of this wonder material on the environment was inconceivable back then. Now we are all becoming aware of the consequences of our addiction to plastic.

We hope this programme of events will help raise awareness and support campaigns to reduce pollution of rivers, seas and oceans by plastic waste. We have two events so far, and plan to add more soon.

Plastic - The First 100 Years & where it all began. (Thur 31st May 19:00 - £5.00)

Local historian Carolyn Clark has put together a fascinating illustrated talk, which will focus on the origins and evolution of plastics over the first 100 years, from ivory substitute to the "Tupperware burp".  She promises "There'll be some surprises and a focus on its early development in Hackney."

Albatross - (film) special screening & discussion - FREE (Fri 1st June 19:00)

In the heart of the world's greatest ocean, a story is taking place that may change the way you see everything.

Centred on Midway Atoll in the North Pacific, this film documents both the poetry of the albatross, and the devastating impact on them of plastic waste.

The film is directed by Chris Jordan, an internationally acclaimed artist whose work explores contemporary mass culture from multiple perspectives, connecting the viewer viscerally to the enormity and power of humanity’s collective unconscious.

"Chris Jordan’s new film is a call to action to repair our broken relationship with planet Earth" Anna Turns - The Guardian

“I want people to watch this film and feel sadness and rage and realise that comes from a place of love. Don’t pull the plug out of the bathtub just yet; don’t let all that raw emotion drain away. Once you feel love, you can be more courageous and make more radical choices.” Chris Jordan.

The film will be preceded with a optional short guided meditation, and end with a discussion on how to respond positively to such a profound experience.

There is no charge, but please book in advance via our ticketing link, as we have limited space. We will be collecting donations for Friends of the Earth.

Hear about new events


We will be moored on the river just off White Post Lane on the edge of the Olympic Park. The closest station is Hackney Wick (3 minutes on foot). Turning left from the station, then left onto White Post Lane, you should see Barge Fiodra on your right hand side as you cross over the canal. The nearest postcode is E9 5EN