It "exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.". The documentary is divided into 7 chapters: Introduction, Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption, Disposal, and Another Way.
The documentary describes the materials economy, a system composed by extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal. This system is extended with people, the government, and the corporation.
Its point of view is supported by several statistical data. Some of the assertions are:
"... more than 50% of US federal tax money is now going to the military, ..."
"Of the 100 largest economies on earth now, 51 are corporations."
"We [The U.S.] has 5% of the world’s population but we’re consuming 30% of the world’s resources and creating 30% of the world’s waste."
"80% of the planet’s original forests are gone."
"In the Amazon alone, we’re losing 2000 trees a minute."
"Each of us in the U.S. is targeted with more than 3,000 advertisements a day."
"Each of us in the United States makes 4 1/2 pounds [2.04 kg] of garbage a day."
"Dioxin is the most toxic man made substance known to science. And incinerators are the number one source of dioxin."
It also quotes what Victor Lebow said in 1955:
"Our enormously productive economy... demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption... we need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate."
The documentary, released online on 4 December 2007, is narrated by Annie Leonard, who has an undergraduate degree from Barnard College and a graduate degree from Cornell University in city and regional planning. It is sponsored by Tides Foundation and The Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption, with Free Range Studios to produce the film.
According to the hosting site, it has already more than 4 million viewers. Ralph Nader called the film "a model of clarity and motivation."
See also the Story of Stuff website as well as the Wikipedia link. The referanced and annotated script of the film can ber accessed here.