A short animation, entitled Humanity’s Impact, has been released highlighting the scale of the global plastic pollution crisis.
The film shows a visual representation of the number of plastic bottles produced globally in real-time. That’s 20,000 bottles per second.
Released alongside an accompanying Augmented Reality app, the project aims to create awareness and inspire action towards a more sustainable future.
Putting a picture to the numbers
Film production company Studio Birthplace made the film as a pilot to the film Wasteminster. In this satirical animation, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is flooded with the UK’s daily export of plastic waste.
However, in Humanity’s Impact, it’s a 1960s American suburb test site that is swamped in plastic . The site is occupied by plastic test dummies.
20,000 bottles a second crash onto the cast, with bottles bursting through the kitchen window and engulfing the family dog.
The ugly side of consumer culture
The film uses satire to call out the ‘ugly side of our consumer culture’.
Pointing the finger at the advertising industry, the dummy characters have overly cheerful expressions that are reminiscent of 1960’s ads. Its directors, Sil van der Woerd and Jorik Dozy, said: “We believe that comedy can be a powerful tool to help tell some of the saddest stories in our world.
“We created mannequin-like dummies that not only represent us but that also put up a mirror to us.
“It is easier to make fun of a plastic dummy rather than a real human, after all, it’s only a dummy.”
Visualizing humanity’s impact
The film uses bespoke data visualisation technology to create realistic physics of falling plastic, using ‘Tyflow’ software.
But the accompanying Augmented Reality app brings an extra layer of realism.
Studio Birthplace partnered with interactive design studio Superposition to create an app which helps
users relate to consumption-related data on an even more personal level. For instance, users can drop 20,000 bottles into their own kitchen or bedroom.
Additionally, uses can pledge to reduce their own plastic use, track their progress, take a photo with their data and share it on social media.
The app is available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Calling for change
Around the world, one million plastic bottles are produced per minute.
However, only nine percent of these get recycled. The rest is dumped or burnt, or ends up in landfills and oceans.
“The film aims to create an eye-opening experience to bring a new level of awareness that a number
or statistic alone could never achieve,” said directors Woerd and Dozy.
They added: “Understanding humanity’s impact on our planet is the first step towards change.”
The film ends with a Call To Action from Plastic Pollution Coalition. It encourages audiences to back a petition that tells Coca-Cola, the world’s biggest plastic bottle producer, that consumers do not want their plastic bottles to pollute our planet.