She surfs. She scuba dives. She hosts Yahoo! Sports Minute and American Ninja Warrior, and is an anchor for the Tennis Channel. But Angela Sun’s passion is her first feature-length documentary, Plastic Paradise, and her seven-year quest to document the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Sport Diver: How did the documentary evolve?
Angela Sun: I was working for a television network and pitched the Great Pacific Garbage Patch as a story idea. Even though they passed, I went there to find out what it looks like. But it became much more than that because we just kept diving deeper into the layers of this onion.
Any shocking moments?
In the documentary, we went deeper into the larger issue of plastic pollution. I was tested for toxins in my body; specifically, Bisphenol A or BPA, an industrial chemical that is used to create certain kinds of plastic. To see Bisphenol A on my hands was pretty crazy, especially knowing that it transferred to my body.
Did you learn any important lessons?
Most people don’t realize what kind of impact we have on our environment, and once we know, it’s almost too late. And when you’re seeing this in the most remote places on Earth, that’s the canary in the coal mine — that is the warning signal.
What do you hope to accomplish with Plastic Paradise?
I think that everyone — individuals, corporate entities and government — needs to come together. I want people to consider this film as much theirs as it is mine. If they continue to share the message and be aware, they become a part of it.