Drastic times call for drastic measures, which is why one group of ocean conservationists has launched a new advertising campaign that aims to shock people into reducing the amount of plastic they use and throw away. Appearing on posters and social media, the campaign uses 3D images of seals and turtles being strangled by plastic bags, to brutal and heart-breaking effect.
The difficult-to-stomach images are fortunately not real, but were created by Notan Studio on behalf of Sea Shepherd, an NGO dedicated to protecting marine wildlife. As if the message wasn't clear enough, the images are accompanied by the caption: “the plastic you use once tortures the oceans forever.”
Recent years have seen an alarming rise in the amount of plastic in the ocean, ranging from tiny microfibers that weasel their way into the bodies of all sorts of marine organisms, to larger items that can trap, choke, or injure the ocean’s inhabitants.
Photographs of dead seabirds with shocking amounts of plastic lodged in their stomachs have helped to highlight the extent of the crisis, and several nations have already taken action to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags that are used. Regardless, the problem of plastic pollution continues to escalate.
Sea Shepherd hopes to shock people into being more conscious about the amount of plastic they use and throw away.
Despite the fact that the images in Sea Shepherd’s campaign are not genuine, few would argue that they are not representative of the truth, with countless cases of marine life becoming seriously harmed by ocean plastics appearing in the news on a regular basis. The only criticism that has been leveled at the campaign is that by exposing the issue in such graphic detail, it could desensitize the general public to the theme of marine life suffering, thereby making it harder for future campaigns to have an impact.
Guiga Giacomo, Executive Creative Director of Tribal Worldwide São Paulo, which has partnered with Sea Shepherd, said in a statement that “a small and thoughtless action in our daily life can cause huge damage to nature without us even realizing it. In this campaign, we aim to remedy this by reaching the largest number of people possible, bringing awareness to the fact that with small and easy steps, we can ensure that terrible scenes like these do not happen.”
Sea Shepherd founder and president Paul Watson added that “scientists warn that in 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish in the sea. Sea Shepherd is committed to preventing this from happening – because if the oceans die, we die.”