Change the narrative about single-use plastic through excellent visual storytelling
Posted by Dianna Cohen | , United States
How do we stop it at the source, before it gets into the Ocean and use the Ocean to highlight the global plastic pollution problem. Too many people across the planet have become dependent on the convenience of single-serve food and drinks, nearly all contained in plastic packaging that instantly becomes pollution. There are so many different types of disposable plastic, and the ability to recycle is so dependent on local infrastructure, that the average consumer has almost no way of understanding the toxicity and pollution issues surrounding their bottles of water or lunchtime sandwich. People aren’t worried about larger environmental impacts or long-term health; they’re worried about their immediate environment today, and what’s most convenient to them now.
It’s critical that we change this narrative about plastic being “convenient”, or “cheap”, or even “clean”. We also need to change the thinking that reusable or sustainable containers are only for wealthier people, a common feeling even in the Global North. Millions more people across the world need to internalize the message that single-use plastic is dirty, damaging, and actually alarmingly expensive.
We propose a series of very tight, very targeted viral videos that accurately and accessibly communicate the known science regarding plastic pollution, which are simultaneously pushed in a coordinated effort worldwide, through small on-the-ground organizations, large NGOs, and well-known public benefit corporations alike. People need to understand the power of their voice to en masse influence industry to stop producing disposable plastic and to redesign packaging with an end of life in mind.