National Geographic's new campaign, Planet or Plastic?, is taking on ocean plastic in a big way. Through compelling storytelling, inspired partnerships, education, and scientific research, the publication is making an ambitious commitment to help tackle this worldwide crisis.
Planet or Plastic is going to span over several years and will aim towards raising the awareness that is so desperately needed when it comes to overuse of single-use plastic. You'd think folks would know by now that choosing single-use plastic is toxic for our environment, but that message seems to be falling on deaf ears. By combining scientific research and storytelling, National Geographic has a real chance of making a difference when it comes to this overwhelming problem.
It's estimated that around 9 million tons of plastic make their way into our world's oceans and, by some accounts, could stay in the environment for more than 450 years. And the worst part? The problem is not getting better...it's getting worse.
It's going to take worldwide participation to solve this crisis. National Geographic's new initiative is in the position to, hopefully, start really making a dent. The Planet or Plastic? campaign is going to kick off in June 2018 with the following projects:
1) Asking people to take the Planet or Plastic Pledge: commit to reducing use of plastic. Simple as that. As individuals, we must work together to stem this rising tide of trash.
2) The National Geographic Society, which is a nonprofit, will launch an expedition in 2019 to research how plastic travels from source to sea. This is a question that undoubtedly a lot of people have-- how does the plastic we use end up in the ocean? Science and research-based information is key in showing audiences the bare facts of this crisis.
3) Using their far-reaching social media platform, National Geographic will literally "flood" their Instagram feed with photos of the plastic crisis. Hopefully this will reach millennials for whom social media is a huge influencer.
4) National Geographic and Sky Media, a company that seeks out investment opportunities, are collaborating to identify projects and technology designed to reduce ocean plastic. National Geo has committed a whopping $10 million to support Sky Media's efforts.
5) Seeking out partnerships with corporations which have eco-minded goals is another cornerstone of this initiative. For example, National Geographic and The North Face are launching a Bottle Source Collection, featuring t-shirts made from recycled plastic bottles taken from streams in national parks.
6) National Geographic is committing to reduction of their own company's single-use plastic use. Starting with the June issue and going forward, US, UK, and India editions of the magazine will arrive at homes wrapped in paper instead of plastic, just one of the steps they are taking to limit their own plastic use.
Here at Gallery Drinkware, we are thrilled about this campaign. Over the years, we have taken our own measures to reduce our plastic use, both as a company and as individual citizens of this planet. One of the most important things we can do as stewards of the earth is to make the small changes in our lives that will ensure the environment's health for generations to come. Reducing or eliminating single-use plastic is the most crucial piece!