As debate rages over the devastating effect of plastic waste on our oceans, Greenpeace brings the message home to the future – kids.
With its trademark no-punches-pulled approach, the environmental organization shows a group of young children bursting with excitement on their visit to an aquarium, only to have the smiles wiped swiftly off their faces.
While the audience was expecting an ocean of magical natural wonders, a kaleidoscope of colour and sensations, a future rich with plenty, the reality was quite different: tragic waters clogged with plastic bags, rings and bottles drifting like dead fish.
The small visitors are clearly dismayed beyond belief.
The ad is part of Greenpeace’s petition to get UK supermarkets to reduce the 800,000 tonnes of plastic waste they produce every year.
Shortly after this campaign appeared, dozens of major businesses signed up for a voluntary ‘plastic pact’ which was welcomed as a step in the right direction by some but criticized as an ineffectual greenwash by many.
The plastic bag charge in supermarkets has helped reduce the habits killing hundreds of thousands of marine animals every year. BBC’s ‘Blue Planet’ series, presented by revered British naturalist Sir David Attenborough, has helped create awareness alongside other campaigns from Surfers against Sewage: “a country 5 times larger than North Korea… is amassing the greatest chemical threat ever known”. Brands are also jumping onto the bandwagon including Lad Bible, who are corralling people to take action by the establishing the plastic garbage patch as a country in itself.
Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind, as the old saying goes. Unfortunately, exposing this reality to the children who will hold us all responsible for what we’re doing to the planet, may be a key part of getting the action needed.
This stark illustration of how we are literally walking children into the maw of global destruction is enough to make most of us cringe. Will it make us take action, as individuals and as a global society?